I was reminded recently of a famous line in a movie with Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger. The sound bite went viral with the line, “You had me at hello.” This clearly endorsed the belief that first impressions are significant. (The movie was Jerry Maguire.)
A similar situation surfaced this week. I thought it might serve as a good reminder in this week’s Cup of Mo-Jo.
Let’s see if I can share this important message without boring you to tears.
My wife and I are “thinking” about relocating to the west coast of Florida in the not too distant future. Last week we happened upon an attractive real estate development just a few miles north-east of Sarasota. We stopped in the Information Office and filled out a few forms indicating a sincere interest. I checked a box allowing future correspondence from real estate professionals.
Not unexpectedly, I soon received an email from a proactive agent offering assistance. I thought I would hear from others, but I guess I should not have been surprised. Most sales leads are never followed-up in a timely fashion regardless of the industry. (Hidden zing here.)
That particular email was followed by a voice message on my phone. Unlike many “tire-kickers,” I wanted to explain my position to the agent as to not waste their time by misleading them. And here is where today’s message kicks in.
I dialed the number left in the voice message and was connected to Matt. “Hello.” “Hi. This is Mike Marchev.” “Yes.” “You emailed me earlier today and also left me a voice message on my phone.” That is when it hit him. I could envision him seeing dollar signs flash before his eyes thinking he had a “live” one on the hook. His tone immediately changed.
I had initially given Mat high marks for following up. Little did he know he was dealing with a seasoned, experienced sales professional who had little patience for those who still gave credibility to their “gift-of-gab.”
This man’s decision to deliver his first impression by answering the phone like I was bothering him did little to establish a positive first impression. He definitely DID NOT HAVE ME AT HELLO. With very little effort, he could have greeted me with just a little voice inflection and a modicum of personality while he ascertained who was calling.
I am betting that he is a good guy, and he can probably save me a lot of time as I continue my investigation of the west coast. But, unknowingly, he took needless aim at shooting himself in the foot. Rumor has it that not unlike travel professionals, real estate agents grow on trees.
For selfish reasons, I am going to give this guy a little more rope to see if he is actually planning on hanging himself. I hope he “Snaps out of it” and proves his value to me. (Another reference to another movie… Moonstruck with Cher and Nicholas Cage.)
The very first noise that exits your mouth, the very first time you look at somebody, the very first question you ask sets the tone and the stage for things to come. Don’t blow it.
I want to share one more reminder with you today. First impressions (Hellos) are important to say the least. But last impressions are what people will remember. So, although you may have me at hello, you better maintain your professional and personal decorum so you will still have me at good-bye.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** You want more to think about? Check out my weekly podcast (Mike’d Up Marchev) at www.TravMarketMedia.com Also listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google and iHeartRadio.