If you think you have at least a couple of minutes to make a first impression, you are wrong! According to the On Stride Financial infographic below, you only have at most 100 milliseconds to form an initial impression. What this really means to small business owners is that the way you evaluate potential employees, business partners and personal acquaintances on your first-time encounter with them, is the same way other people evaluate you and your business, relying mostly on how you conduct yourself.
So how can you ensure people are judging you accurately and also seeing your best side in just a few milliseconds? Atalanta Beaumont, a psychotherapist, says: “Humans can work like a wolf pack when in groups, and if they get a sniff of desperation they will either ostracize the perpetrator or target them unkindly.”
Tips on How to Make a Great First Impression
You can, however, avoid getting devoured by considering the following tips.
First, you need to offer a firm, 3 to 4 seconds long, handshake. University of Alabama researchers found out that a good, firm handshake indicates that you are outgoing, positive and an emotionally expressive person.
You also want to wear more conservative clothes in simple colors when going or your first business meeting.
And besides clothing, your business meeting might just become a little better if you could just dedicate a few minutes to peeking at the profiles of the people you are meeting at your business meeting. According to Dorie Clark, author of “Reinventing You: Define your Brand, Imagine Your Future”, finding common points of connection will help you create emotional connection and even build rapport.
And while at the meeting, resist any urge to cross your arms. Opening up your “body windows,” according to body language expert Patti Wood, will make you appear more approachable.
You also need to make sure you smile throughout your conversation, and also remember lean in just enough during conversation as it makes others feel safe and understood.
The tips don’t end here. View the infographic below for more.
Images: OnStride Financial