You know how it is when a “new” person walks into your office, picks up a flier on one of your listings and begins reading the flier. In the time it’s taken for her to do all these things, maybe 10-20 seconds, you’ve already sized up her potential to be a great buyer or seller to work with. And in that same period of time, she’s already decided whether or not you’re going to be the agent for her!
There are 86,400 seconds in a day, 30 million seconds in a year and yet it takes only 7 seconds to make a first impression. That first impression, good/bad, engaging/off putting, is almost impossible to change. Since we only get one chance to make a first impression, let’s be aware of how we can make our first impression a good or even a great one.
- Physical appearance matters…a lot. With face to face interactions, our physical appearance is the first thing someone sees. Dress appropriately for different settings. Be neat regardless of what you’re wearing. Try to make your smile, an involuntary action, as genuine as possible even if you’re somewhere you’d rather not be at the moment. Faking a smile is really obvious, insulting to the person, and is something you’ll have almost no chance of recovering from!
- Look into the person’s eyes and see the colors of their irises not just once but throughout the interaction. Direct eye contact promotes intimacy, sincerity, confidence, trustworthiness.
- Communicating is often more about how you speak rather than what you say. A calm, steady, thorough, relaxed delivery is much more engaging than a machine gun paced, rapid fire, squeaky, too loud or too soft delivery.
- Remember that you’re having a conversation with another person, not delivering a monologue. Take turns listening and speaking. Ask specific questions without interrogating the person and making them feel uncomfortable. Keep looking directly into the other person’s eyes.
- Be complimentary. The more you praise another person, the more they’ll feel comfortable in complimenting/praising you.
Malcolm Gladwell’s best selling Blink is a great resource on first impressions and decision making