All of those clichéd saying about first impressions are actually true—it’s the one cliché in marketing that you should actually believe.
During your first introduction to someone, there are usually three reactions that we, as humans, will feel:
- Distrust and skepticism – we’re not sure why this person rubs us the wrong way, they just do. There’s something about them…
- Awe and joy – this is for people that strike us with their positive attitude, their looks, their manner of speaking, the way they carry themselves and so forth
- Neutrality – we don’t really care about this person, as they didn’t register on either of the above scenarios. Chances are we won’t remember them in a week.
The questions for you, as a business owner trying to build your brand, is How do I make sure I fall into the right category? How can I make a lasting first impression?
Sadly, there is no science to it. A lot of it is in how you carry yourself. If you have a positive reputation that proceeds you, that helps as well. The truth is that a person’s personality and preferences have a lot to do with how you will be perceived during that first impression, meaning that you actually have very little control over it.
Here’s a scary science fact for you…humans are so judgmental that we have usually made up our minds about a person within four seconds. It’s just the way we are programmed.
If you really want to nail that first impression and present a great face for your brand, you have to flip the script. Think about how a person would impress you when you first meet them. Try to integrate that into your first-impression strategy.
Studies and polls conducted over the years have indicated that there are a few key factor that tend to weigh heavily into first impressions. They are:
- Attire and physical appearance
- Political affiliation
This is why it is never a good idea to discuss politics or religion unless you are very specifically asked. As for the attire issue, you should always dress in a way that reflects your brand whenever you are meeting someone for the first time.
What other first-impression strategies do you have for your brand that seem to work?