It is a truth universally acknowledged that it takes around seven seconds to make a first impression.
This first impression can determine how someone else will perceive you, the assumptions they will make about your personality, and whether they will like, trust and respect you.
Have you thought about how you come across to someone else in those first seven seconds?
In an industry where first impressions are the order of the day, it is important that you are aware of the impression that you give to others, as it could be the deal-breaker when it comes to something as important as beginning a relationship with a client and gaining a new listing.
There are two ways in which your message is delivered: either through verbal or non-verbal cues. Research has found that non-verbal cues are four times more likely to influence a first impression than verbal cues.
In honing your non-verbal impression, think about a few keys factors:
- Posture and attitude – standing straight and tall and making eye contact can signal confidence and form a connection, while hunching your shoulders and looking down at the ground constantly can signal a lack of self-confidence. Also consider your attitude and how that may come across in those first moments. Are you confrontational? Do you stand back a little and fall back into yourself?
- Smile! – never underestimate the power of a smile. Smiling can signal that you are friendly and approachable, and also help to boost endorphins, which is why we can often feel great when we smile or laugh. So why not pass it on?
- Shake hands – this is one of the fastest ways that you can build rapport with someone. Although, it’s a good idea to practise those handshaking skills! There is nothing worse than having your little hand crushed in a vice-like grip or being given the ‘limp fish’ shake. Your handshake will also reflect your personality, so it’s worthwhile thinking about what type of shaker you are.
When practising verbal cues, it is a great idea to train yourself in the mind-to-mouth filter; the one where you think about what you are going to say before you actually say it. This filter can often save you in social situations.
When you are analysing your first impression style, ask your friends or co-workers about their impression of you to gain some feedback on where you may be able to improve. You might even like to use them as guinea pigs when you are testing how you connect with others and perfecting your first impression skills.