The first impression you make could be your last. Every new encounter carries a great weight with it. A relationship can be built or can be ruined by the first few words we speak. If you fail to make a lasting impression with your first interaction you may never get an opportunity again with that individual or company. If you leave a sour taste in someone’s mouth you’ll have to work twice as hard to cleanse their pallet in the future.
So how can we make a good first impression? How can we instill confidence and intrigue within the person standing opposite from us?
The first stage is the meet and greet. The first few seconds with someone will set the initial tone of the conversation. The keys here are to make eye contact, smile, and have a steady handshake. Exchange pleasantries and introductions as you embrace. If you avoid eye contact you will come across as intimidated, shy, and nervous. If you don’t smile your desire to be present comes into question. If you have an overly weak or strong handshake it serves as a distraction, immediately taking away from the focus of the conversation.
From here you must be fully present. The focus is on the individual across from you. Do not let your mind or eyes wonder off into the distance. This expresses disinterest and a lack of concentration. Stay in connection with the person you’re speaking to. Always listen. Do not just hear the person speaking. Listen, absorb, and learn what they are saying.
Keep your body language controlled and confident. Too much movement makes you seem anxious and uncomfortable. Too little makes you seem stiff and reserved. Remain tall with your shoulders pulled back and chest up. Do not slouch. Do not avoid eye contact. Stay calm and collected.
Try to relax into the conversation. Look for common ground, but do not make the conversation about yourself. People will find you arrogant. Most people tend to feel more comfortable talking about themselves. This also gives you an opportunity to learn about them. Listen and find the common ground or the points of interest that you can connect with. Finding this connection will build confidence in both parties as well as establish rapport.
From there stay the course and be true to who you are. If a relationship is meant to be then the foundation has been set.
We are Amber and Jordan Kirbey. We are excited to share our experiences and ideas with you!