Your actions are a reflection of your business, and first impressions are the biggest influence.
As Administrative Support for Fpweb.net, I’m often the first person many people interact with upon calling or visiting our office. This gives me the opportunity to leave a positive first impression of our company. These early interactions influence the perception of what our company is like – our work ethic, culture, and professionalism.
Studies have shown that 93% of people form a biased opinion about you within the first 30 seconds of meeting. I can think back to situations where I am certainly guilty of this as well.
The simple fact is, we encounter many first impression situations throughout life – going on first dates, meeting new people, interviews, and also the impression we give our customers in the business world. You don’t have to work at the front desk or answer calls to leave a first impression. Every employee, at every level plays a part! This effort should not end after the first interaction – however, the first impression can make or break you.
So the question is, how can we leave a good first impression?
I’ve identified three key areas that I believe have a genuine impact on your first impression.
Tone of Voice:
Have you ever called a business and the person on the other end sounded completely bored and uninterested? What impression did that give you? To me, it says that they don’t care, aren’t listening, and that attitude probably comes through in their business interactions. I likely won’t expect a great product or service.
I inferred all of that just because the individual I spoke with didn’t have the right tone of voice to show they care and are engaged. It’s important to remember that no matter what is going on around you to keep your voice uplifting and pleasant. I’ve always found that if you smile when on the phone it will come through in your voice. So keep smiling!
When you dress good – you feel good! The way you are dressed and present yourself is a huge first impression factor. I’m sure you can relate with that feeling when you dress to impress and suddenly you carry a certain attitude and level of success with you that doesn’t come to the surface when you’re in pajamas. If you are well put together it gives an impression of being competent and professional. You should always dress appropriately to your work environment – even in casual work places (like here at Fpweb.net)!
Pay attention to how you are greeting people while on the phone or in person. Being too casual can oftentimes backfire. It’s best to avoid casual phrases like “Hey, what’s up?” or “How’s it goin?” If you know the individual then wait for them to set the tone of the conversation. When in doubt always remain professional. And as always, make sure your greetings are cheerful and genuine!
I hope these reminders are helpful on how to project that perfect first impression. Just remember that it doesn’t end there! It’s not only the first impression that is important – but also the second, third, fourth, and so on! You have an ongoing responsibility to properly represent the company and maintain a professional demeanor. However, once you master the first impression half of the battle is won and you leave that person feeling good about you and your business!