First impression, last impression. Every brand and image consultant will tell you that. “You will never have a second chance to make a first impression,” they will belabor the point.
I totally agree. First impressions matter a great deal. People carry with themselves what you made them see or feel the very first time you met, and that will form the basis of how they will relate with you in future; consciously or subconsciously.
In business, particularly, we are expected to always put our best foot forward. We want to get on from a very good start on any business engagement. That is why we ‘invest’ a lot on our first meeting with a potential client. We dress and talk our best, we polish our manners; acting all kind and courteous. We want the potential client to believe in us and what we do, we want him to know that we are the best they could ever get. That is okay, it is in order to bring out your ‘A-Game’ during such an encounter. Generally, it is the way of business.
But we have problem somewhere; Dishonesty and inconsistency.
Business people, mine could be an unpopular take but I think it’s about time we redefine first impressions by giving it a deeper meaning: exercising honesty from the onset. It should no longer be about make-ups and cosmetics. Focus should begin shifting from the seen to the unseen, the external to the internal. You see, the external excites and appeals to the obvious senses, but the internal is about the sixth sense. It is goes down to values, principles and sound beliefs. Certainly at some point in time you have promised heaven and delivered the opposite. Remember that day you promised a horse but delivered a donkey instead? And you went ahead to justify why the donkey but not the horse! You even argued that the donkey is just but a smaller and slower version of a horse. Really?
Our clients require the best from us and we ought to meet our side of the bargain any day, anytime. Observing the below can get us started on a good footing;
Don’t over promise
The urge and excitement of making a sale or closing that business can easily push us to make promises that we can’t fulfill. “Ah, this can be done in just two days.” Then after the two days, nothing is forthcoming. You start playing cat and mouse with the client. The end result is frustration and broken trust.
The client needs to continually see in you the person they met the very first time. If you committed to build a horse, then it should nothing else but the horse. Faithfully follow through every step of the delivery process until success, just as you promised.
Your word, your bond
“You can take that to the bank” is one misused phrase. People will tell you that confidently only for you to end up with a bounced cheque. Honor your word even when circumstances change. Stay true to your word even when it inconveniences you.