As the old saying goes, you’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression. It usually happens quickly, but its impact can benefit you for a long period of time.
People will decide whether they like a person or not in a matter of seconds, and that first impression can be tough to shake if it’s not in the favor of that person.
The same thing goes regardless of the fact that you meet a person face-to-face or online. If the exchange is business-related, you must absolutely start off on the right foot. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to improve the first impression, whether made in the real world or in the digital one. Also, as a bonus, it will actually pay off to follow better habits. Do you really know what people really think of you?
1. First of all, smile. It’s the most simple and common piece of advice I can offer you. Yet, it can prove challenging for some people. Even though you fake the smile, a fake smile is still better than no smile at all. By practicing smiling and making eye contact with people you pass by on the street, in your building, at work, this will become a habit.
2. Be positive. Your attitude makes the biggest difference in every circumstance, so focus on the bright side and be positive. This way you will be able to make the people around you feel better and bring a smile on their faces.
3. Find a way to introduce yourself with a genuine remark. Instead of using the safe, almighty and polite “Nice to meet you” maybe you should consider coming up with something else. By simply addressing people with the “nice to meet you” greeting, some may find you insincere. This does not mean you have to come up with something out of the ordinary or quirky. “It’s a pleasure” is a good example that most people tend to overlook. Instead of just going through the motions, in general, make sure you show your pleasure of meeting someone.
4. No person is born to actively listen. An individual could even spend a lifetime of practice without ever considering perfecting it. This refers to more than just nodding along. Most people are just listening while waiting for their turn to talk. You should pay attention to more than just the words: body language, eye contact and tone are all great cues of seeing how the person is really feeling. By actively listening and asking thoughtful follow-up questions, the person talking to you will be left with a great impression. And this, in turn can work wonders for you.
5. Pay attention to your body language. Every entrepreneur should know the basics, but do you actually practice them? Things such as knowing what to do with your hands, not crossing your arms, not playing with your hair are a great place to start. Also, you could lean slightly in while respecting the other person’s personal space. And if you find yourself backed in a corner, you could try to lightly mirror what the other person is doing. Practice your handshake: people with firm handshake make a better first impression.
6. Create a foundation for mutual understanding. When you are meeting a total stranger, even if it’s just to do business, it’s in the peoples nature to pursue finding a common ground because that offers them a connection. Despite it being over the mutual love of a type of food, restaurant, a specific workout, it’s not that hard finding someone who has the same interests as you.
7. Be a master at written communication. Your first impression in the online environment depends entirely on your writing skills. Avoid text speaking and read your email ten times before you hit the send button. Make sure to offer all the information in a clear and transparent manner. Give someone else to read the email if you’re not sure: does he/she understands what you want to say without needing extra details? Invest daily in improving your communication skills.