Sure Fire Tips For a Great First Impression In Business

It’s absolutely true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and while first impressions can be amended it takes time, tenacity and effort that would be better expended elsewhere.

Making it in business in the increasingly fast-moving and competitive modern world is a battle that requires nothing short of absolute dedication at all times, and ensuring a confident, friendly, approachable yet strong first impression with everyone with whom you do business is half the battle.

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Standing out

However unique your business plan, your experience, your skills and attributes are it can be difficult to stand out amongst your competitors. Others that you approach to do business may see dozens of people in your position every day. How will you be sure that you’re the one that stands out in their memory?

Little bells and whistles can certainly help here. A memorable business card and monogrammed stationery are some helpful tools that can help you stand out but the key to a good first impression starts and ends with you!

Image management

Of course there’s more to success in business than wearing a nice suit or having shiny shoes, but while image management isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, you should underestimate its importance at your peril. Managing your image has some key benefits in business, as it asserts a measure of control before you’ve even said a word.

  • It enhances people’s perception of you.

  • It projects an air of trustworthiness.

  • It subliminally inspires confidence in your skills and abilities.

  • It elevates your status.

  • It offers a sense of friendliness and approachability.

Of course your image goes way beyond your clothing or how you do your hair. Image management isn’t something you can pick up off a hanger and wear. It extends to your body language, the way you walk, sit or shake hands and how you use your voice.

The tiniest of chinks in the armor of your image management can lead to you appearing stressed, overwhelmed or out of your depth.

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 Take charge of your image

Take a good, long look in the mirror. Recite your opening spiel, and keep a close eye on the following:

  • Analyze your image- Consider your choice of clothing. What do the choices you’ve made with colors and fabrics (and even your jewellry and accessories) say about you personally and your business identity?

  • Listen to yourself- If you can, record yourself talking as you recite your introductory monologue. Consider the tone; is it friendly and approachable yet authoritative? Is the pace even and measured or are you rushing through it (which can imply nervousness).

  • Consider what you’re saying without speaking- Non-verbal communication accounts for over 50% of what we communicate. Consider everything from your first handshake to the gestures you make when you talk. If you have to speak publicly, try to avoid pacing however much your feet may want to move. It can make you look nervous and indecisive.

  • Check your attitude- Practice your smile. Make sure it looks warm and natural. Practice that delicate balance between appearing confident without seeming aggressive, friendly and accommodating without appearing submissive.

There’s no definitive winning formula to making the right first impression but these principles can help set you on the best possible start to making a successful impression for you and your business.

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