Make a Better First Impression and Generate More Sales
We've all heard the old saying that you never get a second chance at making that first impression. So how can you make the BEST impression and win over more clients?
Did you know it only takes seven seconds for someone to form a first impression of you?
Even more daunting, according to the same study conducted by Harvard, it takes meeting that same person seven more times to change the first impression they made of you.
That’s why it’s so crucial to ensure that any first impression you make is a good one.
We meet potential clients every day, even when we aren’t technically “on the job.” A trip to the grocery store could put you in front of any number of people looking to buy or sell their homes.
To ensure you’re giving off the right vibe at all times, you need to become aware of how people perceive you and make any changes to habits that could hurt your chances of making a positive first impression.
Evaluate the First Impression You Make
Before you can improve your first impression score, you need to determine how you’re currently doing. Ask a trusted friend — one who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is and preferably one you met in the last few years. Ask that person what they first thought of you when they met you. Did they like you right off the bat? Or did they have some reservations or misconceptions about you that they had to overcome before they really got to know you?
Think back to recent interactions you’ve had with potential clients. Did they seem to be in a hurry to get going or avoid making direct eye contact with you? These are signs something about your approach isn’t working.
If you don’t think you’re making the best first impressions right now, there are steps you can take to turn things around. Let’s evaluate ways to improve your perception.
Improve the First Seven Seconds
The Harvard researchers found that 55 percent of a first impression is based solely on visual cues — how you look, how you dress, how you stand, how you shake someone’s hand.
While you can’t change everything about your physical appearance, you can make small changes to make a better impression.
Here are some tips to improve how you’re physically perceived:
- Smile more — people who are genuinely happy and give off a happy vibe will make other people happy.
- Lean forward slightly when you’re talking to people. It makes you more approachable and shows people you’re really listening to what they have to say.
- Look people in the eye when you’re talking to them, and avoid shifting your eyes or looking around during conversations. A 2007 study led by a Loyola Marymount University professor found that looking your conversation partner in the eye was a huge determining factor in your perceived intelligence.
- Mimic the other person's body language. This doesn’t mean copying their every move, but rather using similar hand gestures or smiling/laughing when they laugh.
- Dress appropriately and in a professional manor. That doesn’t mean you need to wear a business suit at all times — but you shouldn’t wear your pajama pants and slippers to the gas station, either.
- Have your clothing tailored. In a 2013 British-Turkish study, participants looked at photos of men in tailored versus off-the-rack suits for just five seconds. The men in tailored suits were rated as more successful.
- Bring your book with you on listing appointments and to events where you know you’ll meet potential clients. When you hand someone your own book full of helpful information, you immediately establish yourself as an expert authority and gain their respect.
Above all other traits in real estate agents, research has found that honesty and integrity are the most desired by today’s buyers and sellers.
According to Princeton researchers, people decide on your trustworthiness in a tenth of a second. You can improve your perceived trustworthiness by making some of the changes on this list, thereby increasing your selling power.
Don’t Forget Your Virtual First Impression
In today’s world, your online appearance is just as important, if not more important, than how you’re perceived in person.
When you’re marketing yourself online, you shouldn’t bombard people with sales pitches or immediately ask them for their business the first time you reach out. You have to warm people up by offering them something of value and showing you care about their specific needs.
Your books are the perfect tool to marry your sales pitch with something helpful potential clients can use. You can offer out your books on social media to anyone thinking about buying or selling in the near future. Anyone who responds to your post is someone you’ve already made a positive impression on and will be easier to convert than a cold lead.
Your website and any other site where your information appears should be neat and professional and show people you know what you’re doing. Make your site easily navigable so people can reach out to you when they realize you’re the person they want to work with based on the virtual first impression they’ve made of you.
You can also offer your books on your website using a capture form so you can collect contact information for anyone who requests one.