first impression, how to leave a good first impression, career advice

5 Things I Learned About 'The First Impression' from 10 Years of Sales

Everything I've done in my career demands sales as a major component of my job. From being a telemarketer, a personal fitness trainer, and to a private banking headhunter—I've made a living convincing prospects the value I can bring to them.

What sales has taught me about the first impression is invaluable. I will not be sharing sales tactics or 'pickup lines' to close deals, but what I will share is how to manage the way we meet people or prospects for the first time.

It's more than being well dressed and giving the perfect handshake when meeting a prospect, attending a job interview, running a team meeting, or getting acquainted with new colleagues.

"Knowledge is power and enthusiasm pulls the switch."

- Steve Droke

The importance of enthusiasm has been iterated and reiterated—it shows passion and is able to supply energy to those around you. But, how do we express enthusiasm without coming across as overzealous?


1. Show that you care about what other people do

Ask simple questions, clarify your doubts, and paraphrase bits of what they say to show that you understand. Spend 70% of the time listening, give them your full attention, and make eye contact two-thirds of the time.


2. Show that you care about what YOU do

You should be able to describe your work with just a short one-liner. Focus on sharing more on why you do what you do and tell them what you enjoy most about your work.


3. Mirror their body language

Lean back when they lean back, lean forward when they do. Slowly and subtly. This helps you to avoid leaving an overzealous impression. The only caveat is not to mirror a closed body language (i.e. folding of arms). Leaving your body language open (i.e. relaxed arms by your sides or on your lap) makes the other party feel comfortable to share more with you.


4. Remember the goal of the interaction

It's okay to sidetrack once in a while but always remember to bring the conversation back to the key topic. Prepare for important meetings by identifying the desired outcomes for both parties and plan the interaction towards that. This helps you be in control and lead the way. People follow those who know where they are going so be that air of certainty.


5. Show that you are reliable

When you speak or share an idea, avoid looking to others for approval. If you don't have an answer, be honest about it and say that you'll figure it out. It's socially acceptable to say that you need time to think about a question or problem.

"Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."

- Douglas MacArthur



By Gerald T.

Gerald is one of the cofounders at Getfash. He enjoys helping fashion labels to get their unique designs featured on Getfash's 'Shop the Look' and 'Style' articles. During his free time, he is either in the gym, on basketball court, or in a Muay Thai ring.


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