We are all too familiar with the saying "you only have one chance to make a good first impression". It's known that a person judges us and makes a decision about us the first few seconds that we meet and we do the same likewise. While this may not be fair, it is a fact. We also make up our minds about the experience we will have somewhere in the first few seconds of arrival. How many times have you walked into a store with the intention of purchasing something only to be turned off by the experience and go elsewhere to spend your money? Have you ever driven right by a store or office because you didn't like the way it looked on the outside and not stopped to see if it was better inside? Same goes for websites, many of us quickly scan websites and if the first page does not grab us, we move on.
Some may view this as a negative, but I see it as a positive! Knowing what others will do gives us the power to take control and guide the experience the way we want it to go. I agree you cannot always win everyone over, but with a little preparation and more importantly effort, you can set the state for a great first impression.
Here's some tips:
•1. Keep you car neat and clean. If that is your office on wheels, then make sure when you pull up to meet someone it doesn't look like you've been out mudding. The interior is also important even if you don't drive clients around in your car. You would not want them to take a peak and finding papers strewn all over the place.
•2. Speaking of papers, if you are going to take a file in public, keep neat! Even after you've made a good impression with this buyer or seller you're working with, what about everyone else you meet along the way to closing? Could they be making judgments by the files that you keep?
•3. Shoes - Short and simple here - Even the best outfit needs shoes that are neat, clean and polished. While designer shoes are nice (I personally think so at least) thy aren't what I am referring to. You don't want the seller you are presenting to think you can't afford to market their home properly based on the condition of your shoes!
•4. Smile- Remember to always smile, practice this often both in person and on the phone. When your phone rings, smile before you answer it, even if you don't feel like talking right then. This could be the dream buyer or seller calling and you want to make that great first impression. We've all experienced calling someone only to feel like we are bothering them by the tone in their voice. Remember your impression?
While all of these are commonsense items, I am often surprised when I am out visiting local real estate offices how many of them are forgotten. As a small business owner remember that you are your brand and that first impressions will either drive business to you or away from.
When you have a taste for exceptional people, you always end up meeting them everywhere. Marc Orlan