Making a Great First ImpressionWhen meeting someone for the first time, especially in a business context, your first impression carries a lot of weight.  You want to start off on the right foot and make a positive impact on the person’s memory so that even if you do not make a sale at first, you have at least made a good contact.  Luckily, there are some subtle things you can do to make a good impression.

  • Talk less, and let the other person talk to you as well.  Otherwise you’re not having a conversation, and the other person will leave feeling as though they were not heard.  Ask them questions, and make them feel positively about themselves.  That will be a lot more powerful in the end than actively trying to make them feel positively about you.
  • Be yourself, don’t try to be an optimized version of yourself.  Flaws make you human, and people respond positively to that.  Just relax, be honest, and don’t focus too hard on impressing the other person.
  • Be interested in what they have to say, and show it in your body language.  Lean toward them slightly, slightly raise your eyebrows, and tilt your head a bit.  Just be expressive, but don’t overdo it.
  • Most importantly, you should simply relax.  First impressions are important, but they aren’t a make-it-or-break-it moment in your life.  If you relax and just focus on the actual conversation, you are less likely to put off an awkward air or overcompensate with a lot of talking and preening to make yourself look better.  You will find it is much more rewarding to exist in the moment and listen to the other person than it is to “make an impression.”

For more tips on making a great first impression, check out this article from RealSimple.  If you have any great stories of a successful -or disastrous!- first impression you’ve made or experienced, share them in the comments!

 

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