How To Make a Great First Impression

Personal grooming and the clothes we wear make an impression when we meet a person for the first time. Hopefully it's a good impression. However I don't want to talk about this aspect of making a good first impression right now.

Rather, I'd like to share six tips for making a good first impression which come from what we do when we meet another person. You can use these tips in both your personal and professional life. Here they are.

1. Treat everyone you meet as if he or she is the most important person you will meet today

If you adopt this attitude towards everyone you meet, everyone you meet will feel special and will enjoy being with you. It costs you nothing to make a person feel special and you'll feel good too. It's an attitude thing.

2. Develop a winning handshake

Your handshake is a part of the first impression you make with everyone you meet. When was the last time you checked out your own handshake? Are you a "Wet Fish", a "Crusher" or a "Pumper"? Ask for some opinions from both men and women you trust. Your handshake should be firm, confident and warm. Work on your handshake. It says a lot about you even before you open your mouth.

3. Note the colour of a person's eyes when you shake their hand

Remember that you don't just shake hands with your hand, you also do it with your eyes. When you shake someone's hand, smile, look into their eyes and note the colour of their eyes. This habit forces you to look into their eyes and really "connect" with them. It also puts a "twinkle" into your eyes. Try it and you'll notice the difference it makes.

4. Smile for 2 seconds longer than they do

Lock onto the other person's eyes making a note of the colour of their eyes and then smile broadly. Wait until they smile back, and then hold your smile for two seconds longer than they do. You'll be amazed at the bond it creates as you really connect with them. People will notice something "different" about you and will remember you.

5. As you shake hands, push out a positive thought

When we communicate with another human being we do so at both a physical and meta-physical level. You don't have to understand this and you don't even have to believe this for it to work for you. Have you ever met someone and they've said something like "Nice to meet you", yet you somehow knew at a "gut" level that they didn't mean this at all. Maybe you even felt that they disliked you. Next time you meet someone, consciously hold a positive thought in your mind about them. Say to yourself, "This is a person I could really like" or "I'd really like to know this person better". It might sound silly, but you'll be amazed at the instant bond you will create.

6. Seek to find a way of paying the person a sincere compliment

Your purpose should be to make the other person feel good about themselves, and for a compliment to work, it must be genuine and sincere. Avoid the obvious like their tie and simply make it a habit to look for the good in everyone you meet. It might be their bright smile, their warmth, their energy or something about their personal presentation. Look for it and tell them what you like. If you are being sincere, they will know it. If you're not, they'll know this too. Say nothing rather than something insincere.

Over the next week try these techniques and notice what happens.

Have a great week. Make it a great week!

Wayne Berry


Wayne Berry CSP* is Australia's own TOP GUN Business Sales Coach and most in-demand speaker on sales, negotiating and Sales Management Training. He is ranked in the top 7% of professional speakers in the world by the USA based National Speakers Association. He is a best selling author and one of Australia's best...

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