A first impression can never be recalled. Yet most of us don't seem to give it much thought or planning.
Make a good first impression and both you and your business will be seen in a positive way; make a poor first impression and you may not get another chance.
Every new contact is an opportunity for your business. Here are some tips that may help:
Be confident: Introduce yourself and make eye contact. Always shake the other person's hand when you are saying hello or goodbye. It is good manners and an accepted greeting in most social and business situations.
Use the other person's name in your conversation and watch your body language.
Negative body language includes crossing your arms in front of your body or turning sideways to the other person. Lean slightly forward to show you're interested in what they have to say.
Be yourself: Just relax and let the conversation flow. Keeping up with current affairs will help with small talk. But don't put on a façade, people will notice and may immediately form a negative opinion.
Avoid talking about yourself, although it's all right to use your own personal experience as a conversation starter. Focus the conversation on what you have in common. Keep your discussion on positive issues.
Be polite: Deal with others as you would want them to deal with you. Your reputation is a very positive asset.
Always look your best: Even before you say hello people will form an opinion of you based on your appearance. If you want to gain the respect of others, you must look as though you respect yourself.
And don't forget to smile: A simple smile can light up someone's day.