Take a moment and think about how you behave and feel when meeting someone for the first time.
Do you make hasty assessments of the new person? Do you prejudge?
If you are like most of us, we have been guilty of pigeon-holing people because of dress, accent, facial hair, no hair, and so forth. We have biases.
And, like most people, you probably learned that making a hasty first impression is generally incorrect. Our likes and dislikes, biases, have no place in categorizing anyone we meet for the first time.
So, whether you are meeting someone for the first time or you are introducing a product, service, or your brand for the first time, keep in mind that this first contact will form the basis of the other person’s opinion about you, your product, your service, or your brand. The first impression door swings both ways.
Business or social, first impressions are important. They are long lasting. And, they are even more difficult to reverse.
When meeting business prospects for the first time, you must make an impression that resonates with them. It is not about you liking them. It is about them liking you and wanting to do business with you.
Socially, on the personal level, when meeting people for the first time where your income does not depend on them liking you, there is much less pressure. Although different than establishing business relationships, the principles of making a positive first impression still apply.
For example, if you do not get a good vibe from the new person you are meeting, you can choose to move on. That is not always an option in business.
By-the-way, this move on strategy is also true for the new person you are meeting. If he or she does not get a good vibe off of you, that person can move on as well.
Another significant difference between business and personal interactions is dollars and sense.
Dollars meaning if you continuously fail to create the desire in your prospects to do business with you, you will eventually go out of business.
The logic is simple. If people do not like doing business with you, they will go somewhere else. It is not always about having the best price or even the best product.
Generally, we relate the word sense as in common sense. In a social interaction, when meeting someone not associated with work or business for the first time, if it does not feel right it does not make sense to spend a lot of time with that person. There are enough challenges in life. Hanging with someone, or people, you do not like is additional stress you do not need.
Making subtle changes in the way you communicate with people can have a powerful effect on you, your social community, and your work.
In business, the responsibility rests with you to make a positive first impression.
Socially, you are in control. Yes, you are responsible for the first impression you make. But, you also get to decide for yoursel if this person or group of people are for you.
Question: What do’s or don’ts would you recommend when meeting someone for the first time?
Let us know in the comments below.