First impressions in Sales

May 7th, 2014

Here are some pointers to help you
make the most of that small window of
In person…
Dress for success. No matter what the
setting, reflect well on your business
by being well groomed and wearing
appropriate business attire.
It’s always better to overdress rather than
underdress. Be proud of your personal
appearance and carry yourself in a way
that shows it.
Make good eye contact and smile.
If you’re sitting and someone approaches
you and introduces him or herself,
automatically stand up. Make sure you
give the person you are meeting the
respect and attention he or she deserves.
There is nothing ruder than glancing
around to see if there is anyone better to
talk to than the person right in front of you.
Smile and be friendly!
Shake hands with a firm grip. It’s
very disheartening when someone has a
terrible handshake. There is a proper way
to shake someone’s hand. Make sure the
“V” between your thumb and forefinger
connects with the other person’s “V.”
Shake the person’s hand firmly two or
three times and then let go. A good rule
of thumb is to match the other person’s
firmness of grip.
Say your name and repeat theirs.
Enunciate your name and repeat his or her
name to help you remember it. You can
also take this a step further and use his or
her name in the first sentence of dialog.
If you happen to forget a name, don’t be
afraid to ask for it again. There is a chance
he or she forgot yours, too.
Follow up properly. After you meet
someone for the first time, be sure
to promptly enter his or her contact
information in your CRM (I hope you are
utilizing one!), along with any details from
your conversation that could be helpful to
you in the future.
In your notes, clearly spell out the mutually
agreed upon “next step.” Additionally,
send a hand written thank you card. When
was the last time you received something
that was hand written? A handwritten
note expressing appreciation for your
prospect’s time could be just the thing
that sets you apart from your competitors.
Over the phone…
You must rely on your tone of
voice, enthusiasm and clear
pronunciation to make a great
first impression. In person, 55% of
communication is body language, 35% is
tone and 10% comes from the words you
say. When body language is not part of
the equation, that 35% jumps to 90%.
Just about the entire first impression
comes from how you say what you’re
saying. Your voice is your appearance,
your eye contact and your handshake all
rolled into one. Talk about a challenge!
Stand up for a few calls, post a mirror
above your desk and consciously smile!
Prospects will always buy YOU first,
before your company, your specific
products or your great pricing.
A professional and courteous approach
to meeting new people can open up new
doors as you build your customer base.
Remember, you can’t erase a bad first
impression. Put these tips into practice
and enhance your ability to make a great
first impression every time!
Marisa Pensa

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