First impressions sometimes may only be the only impression that one can leave onto others – especially during job interviews, working in a sales job or a carrying out a customer service role. Researchers from NYU have discovered that people will make eleven major decisions about one another during the first seven seconds of meeting. This is why positive first impressions can help you stand out from competitors and close important deals with clients.
Let’s start by making a list of possible gestures that can leave an impact on someone new. As various job roles differ from one person to another, this list can differ vastly. To start off your list, here are the 8 common first encounters that require you to interact with important people in your life:
1. The first emailLike it or not, the first email that you send to others can make a lasting impression. Typographical, grammatical and tone errors can speak a lot about you, so be sure to proofread important first emails. Messages also should be clear and concise, while having a friendly tone.
2. The first greetingMore than just saying “hello,” a first greeting can be a great chance to leave a great impression. Smile, make eye contact, greet warmly and initiate handshakes. Also, the way you look can leave an imprint in someone’s mind. Leave thick makeup to parties – in a professional context, neat hair, clothes and grooming is essential.
3. The first conversationAre conversations all about you? Well, then it’s time to listen up with real interest. Not only does listening convey respect, it has practical uses: good listening skills can lead to better customer satisfaction, fewer mistakes and increased sharing of information that can lead to more innovative work.
Listening also lowers down the chance of interrupting someone mid-sentence – sometimes a pause from the speaker may not mean that he/she has finished. Also, never complete a sentence for someone; let the speaker complete his point.
4. The first challengeThe first time you meet with a challenge will divulge your reactions to address difficult situations. You can be sure your colleagues, clients and higher-ups will be watching your treatment of them as you fix difficulties at work.
5. The first phone callWith the right tone of voice, preparation and timing, a simple phone call can do amazing things with impressing the person you are speaking with. This is especially important for sales executive or business development work that involves plenty of cold calling.
|To have a more likeable and confident telephone voice, follow these tips:• Speak clearly with proper language • Smile while speaking as it naturally makes your voice warmer and friendlier • Plan your conversation with minimal improvisation during important business phone calls – this can make you sound more articulate and self-assured • Call during working hours except meal times to be polite • End the call respectfully|
6. The first time you interact in a groupEntering a new group can be daunting as you are going to face a range of opinions and have to communicate with a variety of personalities. Nevertheless, speak up and be an active group member to let others get to know you better. Group members do appreciate and acknowledge an individual’s listening skills and respectful eye contact, so be sure to be aware of your actions.
7. The first time someone hears your mobile phone ringtone An embarrassing ringtone can reflect how you want to be perceived. Try not to use a ringtone with curse words or salacious lyrics; there is always the risk of someone calling you in the middle of an important presentation or meeting and you don’t want a great impression to be thwarted by something as innocuous as a mobile phone ringtone.
8. The first time you interact with a waiter or waitress How you treat a waiter or waitress at a restaurant says a lot about your personality and how you treat people. Always treat servers with respect.
As you start to consistently make your first impressions count, you’ll find that these will come easier to you as they become part of your standard working procedure. Soon, these great habits will spread to the rest of your life, letting you enjoy the benefits of creating great first impressions such as better relationships and more favourable opportunities.
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