“You said ‘two’.” These were the three simple words she spoke to me and they set the tone for our business relationship and a lasting first impression. As I write this, it is early on a Sunday morning in Vancouver. I am staying at a downtown hotel and reviewing the details of a workshop that I am delivering to a group of technicians on Monday. I had decided to take a break and walk a couple of blocks to get some fresh air and cup of coffee.
One of the topics of discussion at the workshop will be the power of first impressions and how they can set the tone for a business relationship. When meeting customers for the first time, a poor first impression can greatly hamper our technician’s ability to build trust and negatively impact their ongoing relationship. That is because, once an impression is made, we begin to filter the information we receive about the person who made the impression to fit our view. And, it works for both positive and negative first impressions. For example, if a customer’s first impression is that we are lazy, they will filter their observations about us and pick up on any evidence that may reinforce that view and ignore evidence to the contrary. For example, they may come across us taking a well-deserved coffee break and chatting with one of their employees. If they are of the impression that we are lazy, then they may think, “There he goes again, taking another break! And now they are wasting the time of one of our employees as well!” If we are perceived as hard working by another customer and they were to observe the same situation, they might think, “Finally, she’s taking a break. And look how well she gets along with our staff”. Read more ›