First impressions matter.
In sales, a positive first impression can determine whether a customer decides to buy from you or a competitor. A negative one can cost you both money and the opportunity to establish a relationship with a new customer. The key to making a good impression and building rapport in sales is by applying the SEE factors — Smile, Eye Contact, and Enthusiasm. Non-verbal cues through facial expressions and body language can make the difference between success and failure — even before you say a single word.Facial expressions and body language can make the difference between success and failure — even before you say a single word. Click To Tweet
First impressions are fast, but they last.
Countless studies, surveys, and experts vary in their claims on how long it takes to form an impression of someone — from 27 seconds to seven seconds to even as little as one-tenth of a second. Further research from an international team of psychologists shows that a first impression persists, even if a new experience contradicts it. People view the contradictory experience as a one-off occurrence tied to a specific context — a perception that’s difficult to change. The takeaway is that you won’t have a second chance to make a great first impression, so make every second — or millisecond — count.
Here are five tips for making a good impression and why they’re important:
1. Perfect your handshake.
A handshake is more than an initial greeting. It’s often the first connection with the customer and can set the tone for the rest of the sales conversation or meeting.
A good handshake should be:
· Comfortably firm, not limp or hand-crushing, to convey strength and confidence
· Upright. Flipping the other person’s hand over, exposing their wrist communicates that you are trying to overpower them.
· Just long enough. Shaking hands for longer than a three count can leave the other party feeling trapped.
A smile is contagious. It communicates warmth and approachability, instantly putting the other person at ease and in a better mood. A genuine, inviting smile can improve your likeability and get the other person to respond more positively to you. When smiling, make eye contact to transmit openness, trustworthiness, and interest in what they have to say. People love doing business with those they like and trust. It’s human nature.Research shows that people who are confident appear more competent, credible, and trustworthy. Click To Tweet
3. Be confident.
Research shows that people who are confident appear more competent, credible, and trustworthy. They exude confidence through their expertise, attitude, presence, and demeanor. So, when meeting people, do your research and be prepared with relevant talking points and smart questions. Be calm and self-assured, not cocky or arrogant. Be articulate and speak deliberately and clearly. Stand in an open, relaxed posture with your chin up, back straight, and arms at your side. Finally, dress to impress because when you look sharp, you feel sharp. Being confident makes people comfortable around you and more receptive to what you have to say.
4. Be thoughtful.
Thoughtfulness is grounded in empathy, so tune into the other person, listen more, and say less. When someone speaks, show genuine interest and understanding by summarizing what you’ve heard and asking follow-up questions. Choose your words carefully and speak with honesty and sincerity. Read the room and modulate your tone and approach appropriately. Thoughtfulness creates an emotional connection that elevates the conversation and builds rapport and trust with the customer.
5. Be energetic.
Positive energy and enthusiasm are infectious. When you’re fired up, it shows you care and passionately believe in your product, service, and company. It engages and motivates the customer and gets them excited too. Just make sure you don’t get carried away. Nothing is more off-putting than over-the-top energy and enthusiasm that feels fake and insincere.
By following these five simple tips, you’re making a good first impression that’s a lasting good impression. You’ll connect with the customer, start building rapport, and improve your odds for success in any sales interaction.
We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales and marketing services located in Agoura Hills, California. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation for consistently exceeding client expectations and driving outstanding revenue growth, Cydcor has been helping Fortune 500 and emerging companies achieve their customer acquisition, retention, and business goals since 1994. Cydcor takes pride in the unique combination of in-person sales, call center, and digital marketing services we offer to provide our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.