In my work I meet new people every day: Prospective new clients, leaders in communities where First Community is engaged, volunteers in our campaigns, prospects whom we are soliciting. Almost every business day I am called on to make a good first impression. I take it seriously. It is important to our campaign’s success and therefore our client’s success. It is important to my company’s success.

whiteboard

Here are seven ways to make a good first impression:

1. Dress for success: Dress for the people you are about to meet…and dress at least one step better than how you anticipate they will be dressed. If they will likely be dressed in business casual then I will add a sport coat to my business casual. If they are likely to wear a sport coat with their business casual, I will add a tie to my sport coat and slacks. If I go a step higher, I will wear a conservative suit and tie.

2. Make eye contact: When I meet someone new, it is important that I look him/her in the eye as I am introduced. At that moment, there is nothing more important to me than making a solid introduction so I want to focus completely on the person I am meeting.

3. Shake hands firmly: I want the person I am meeting to develop his first impression of me as being “strong, focused, positive and likeable”. Eye contact addresses the “focus.” A firm hand shake takes care of the “strong.”

4. Smile: People like people who are confident and positive. It distinguishes them from everyone else who is not. I make it a point to smile as I am introduced to show that I am comfortable with this opportunity and happy to meet someone new.

Stay tuned for last three tips to making a good first impression next month!