“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” This advice may be accurate and a valid motto to consider, but it does not paint the entire picture.
It is true that the instant we lay our eyes on someone, or something, our minds immediately make a judgment call and file that observation into a particular file. As unfair as it may sound, oftentimes we decide if we actually “like” the person or not based on this initial sighting. In addition to their attire, the tone of their voice, their hair style, their choice of words and the way they position their bodies all can result in an opinion. Yes, first impressions are important and deserve a lot of focus and attention.
But to those in the know, first impressions can be misleading. Many people in the sales profession are pretty-skilled at “fooling” people out of the blocks. Many people practice and rehearse their interviewing skills, so they appear to be godsends. But, sooner or later, water finds its own level. One’s true colors will present themselves if given a chance.
Here is a crazy example that will help drive my message home today. At 8 pm you arrive at your neighbor’s house party with a clean, pressed shirt and a pair of socks complimenting your choice of trousers. Your hair is nicely quaffed, and you politely wait your turn to add to the conversation. First impression: You are a gentleman and totally squared away.
For two hours you make your neighbors proud while you quietly feel more at home and begin to sip your gin and tonic. You begin to feel that your stories are more important and need to be shared. Your voice gets louder and your choice of words begin to shadow your college fraternity days. By midnight you are the talk of the crowd as you “stumble” out the door heading for home. By this time, your shirttail may be in or out, but who cares. You are a mess and an embarrassment.
My question to you: The next morning when the host is cleaning up the patio, which “you” do, they recall? Answer: You already know the answer.
This might be a stretch of an example, but you can fill in the story with examples of your own. First impressions are important, but it is the last impression that is remembered.
Of all my messages to you, this one might be positioned right up there with the best of them. Staying power is the needed skill for success today.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.