“First impression is the best impression.”

“First impression is the last impression.”

First impression is “THE IMPRESSION,”  then why don’t people work on creating the best version in the first meet?  The answer is people are either unaware or they are slaves of their old habits.

The first impression requires a sea change of habits.  Let’s explore what happens once you fix up a meeting with your prospect?

  1. Most of the prospects would check you up on the Social Media starting with LinkedIn.  And if your prospect is Millennials he would most probably research you. In the event you are selling leading edge products and services and the prospect does not find you on LinkedIn – your credibility is doubtful.  It’s like selling technology products and not having a company web site.
  2. Hence it is important that you create the best version of yourself on the LinkedIn. The best professional picture, your Title and a customer focused summary?
  3. Your LinkedIn Photograph is your first impression hence ensure its professional because it can create a HALO effect or SHALLOW effect (Perceived impression based on your LinkedIn profile or previous meeting)  which can last for anywhere between 3 – 6 months.
  4. Audit your online footprint and delete any content that may put you in an embarrassing situation. In business, your Digital footprint is your online reputation.
  5. The prospect most probably researches you on the net; hence is it not fair that you research him too. And find out everything that is open domain information rather than wasting prospect time.
  6. Finally, the day has arrived to meet your prospect. You reach his office.  Practice Power Posture for 2 – 3 minutes before the meet and prime yourself for success.
  7. When you enter the prospects room, pause at the door, smile and walk in with the greetings. Extend a firm shake hand.  Maintain your palm perpendicular to the ground.

  8. Sit down erect with a smile on your face.
  9. Now the customer is evaluating you on two grounds. Point one – can I trust this person.  And once this hurdle is crossed prospect evaluates if he can trust your skills and credibility?
  10. Your trust is established by your body gestures (confident, smile, open body posture) and mentioning things that you share in common with him and this could be either mind set, ideas or belonging to a common group, forum, place, and others. This is where your prospect online research helps. and please remember words of

Maya Angelou “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

11. Once trust is established, it’s time to establish your credibility. So exhibit your sincerity on “language of prospect benefits”  and authority over ROI number.

In summary, take home message is create the best version of your profile on LinkedIn, research your prospect to find common things and others between you two. Practice power posture before entering the prospects room and work on establishing the trust factor followed by uncovering the  (Nice) need, interest, concern, and expectation to sell your product and services.   A similar approach can be used when you appear for an interview.