Regardless of your business, profession or career choice, we all must be salespeople to some degree, and our success hinges mostly in how we sell ourselves to others through first impressions. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes most professionals make when they first meet someone is overselling themselves.
Scheduled first impressions like sales calls, job interviews, first days at a new job and conference appearances possess numerous mental and physical issues that people can learn to cope with and overcome with proper training. To that end, your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Northern Michigan have prepared six tips below designed to bolster your sales success and help make your next first impression one of your best first impressions:
1. Dress To Impress — Your clothes, your hair, your hygiene are all factors that most people will base their initial judgment on. While “business casual” has become the watchword in many companies, it is always a safer bet to overdress than shoot low. You can always leave the jacket behind, ditch the tie and roll up your sleeves if you find yourself entering a more casual setting.
2. Listen Attentively — First impressions are opportunities for whoever you are meeting to gauge how attentive you are and how genuine your interest is. Drifting thoughts or distant gazes tell a speaker that your attention is elsewhere, which leaves a poor first impression. Be sure to nod along and respond with short phrases to show you are participating, even if only passively.
3. Use A Person’s Name — Learn and memorize a person’s name and incorporate it into the conversation whenever you can. Each time you include a speaker’s name you establish certainty of your participation in the discussion, personalize the moment and help make yourself more memorable in the process.
4. Be Articulate — It is better to pause and think carefully for a moment about what you want to say than to just blurt out the first words that pop into your head, especially if they are incoherent and easily misunderstood. Clear, concise communication is valued in the business world, so maintain a moderate pace while speaking, properly modulate your voice and enunciate your words.
5. Avoid Being Funny — It’s one thing to be light-hearted, but humor should be used carefully. What one person perceives as an innocent thought or comment another might perceive as ignorant, racist, sexist, homophobic, classist or just plain rude. If your attempt at humor is misconstrued during your first impression, you will likely lose out on the opportunity.
6. Show Genuine Interest — Almost every job interview ends with the interviewee asking the candidate whether they have any questions. It’s those candidates that do have questions, who prove they were listening and thinking critically, that stand out from the crowd.
Remember, the first impression you make is going to be what defines you for months to come. So, to make sure your first impressions go smoothly, heed the advice listed above. Dress for success, speak clearly, listen attentively and be wary of humor too soon. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to success.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Mid-Northern Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Mid-Northern Michigan. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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