First impressions REALLY do count.

To prove the point, just cast your mind back to the last time you met someone for the first time.

It probably took you just a few seconds to decide whether you trust the other person …….most likely based on pure ‘gut feeling’.

And other people do exactly the same to you. They quickly form opinions based on your appearance, your body language, your mannerisms and what you say.

Once opinions are formed, it can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and this often sets the tone for the relationship that follows.

So when it really matters, what can you do to make that all important strong first impression?

Here are 8 simple (but effective) ways to achieve that……

1. Smile – This boosts your attractiveness to others, so why frown?

2. Be on time – While you keep people waiting, they mull over your bad points…….so if you are running late, call ahead.

3. Handshake – Stay well clear of the “knuckle cruncher” or “wet fish” approach. Shake firm, but not too strong.

4. Eye contact – First meetings can be overwhelming, but hold friendly eye contact to project confidence.

5. Research – Spend time researching the other person and their organisation, so that you can identify common ground. They have probably looked at your online profile in advance as well.

6. First words – Practice your opening line so that you don’t fumble your words. Ask a good opening question to show interest in the other person to gain maximum engagement.

7. Listen – Don’t just reel off a script, listen to the other person and respond appropriately.

8. Mobile phones – DON’T put your phone on the table! By doing this the underlying message is that your phone is more important than the other person.

What next?

To apply these tips, think ahead to your next big meeting and set aside the time to practice for maximum impact.

For more ideas check our library of past articles and feel free to browse our web site.

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