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?