Research says you only have 7 seconds to make an impression. Yes, 7 seconds. And let’s face it, by the time you’ve started speaking you’ve probably already used, maybe even wasted, a couple, if not all of those precious seconds.

This Blog Features:

  • What matters in the first 7 seconds
  • The mistakes business owners make
  • Where your focus should be
  • 5 tips to make the right impression

So much for the right impression!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re giving your ‘elevator pitch’, presenting in front of a group, answering the phone or writing an email. If those seven seconds aren’t the best seconds you can deliver, you’re mostly wasting your time.

Of course, you can hope to be given a second chance, but in a world with such short attention spans, chances are your prospect has moved on.

Most of the information that’s been written on this topic, starts in the wrong place – getting you to establish eye contact, plaster a smile on your face, and practice your message. And whilst they’re important…

They’re not the most important things you can do.

Why? Because the focus is all wrong.   All of those things are about you, you and you.

Where Should Your Focus Be?

To make the right impression, your real focus must be on your customer. What’s important to them? Maybe having a silly grin on your face isn’t important or it may even be inappropriate depending on the circumstances.

So many impressions are started with babbling on about you, your business and how fabulous you are or it is. Or making people wait until you’re ready – to get back to them, to answer the phone, to schedule that meeting, to respond.

And whilst it’s possible you’re going to look after them wonderfully or you have the best business/product/service in the world – your customer doesn’t care and they certainly don’t want to wait.

Why? They’re only interested in WIIFM – or what’s in it for me?

So, if you’re busy thinking, talking about and focusing on you and your needs, they’re busy switching off, going elsewhere – often never to return.

5 Tips to The Right Impression

1. Focus on Them

If you’re doing a presentation – make sure your focus is firmly on the person in front of you and their needs. No slides or chatter up front about how fab you or your company/product/service are. Leave it to the end. If you’ve not proven their WIIFM – they’re not listening anyway.

2. You, You, You – Your Language Counts

Pepper your communication – written and verbal with the words you and your to keep them engaged.

3. Online Communication Follows The Same Rules

Make sure your website is all about your customer (and what you can do for them, what they’ll feel, what outcomes they’ll get, etc).

4. Answer Your Phone Professionally And By The Second Ring – Every Time.

Professionally, doesn’t include having children or dogs in the background – unless you’re a childcare worker or dog groomer, etc. Answering swiftly makes you look eager to look after your prospect. If you’re in meetings most of the time, producing the work that your business sells or working in vicinity of small people or animals, think about having your phone answered professionally by a virtual office. It’s a lot more cost effective than you might think.

5. Hold Your Meetings in Designated Meeting Places.

Whilst a café is a great place to catch up with a friend or colleague for a catch up, they’re often not really conducive to productive work or sensitive conversations (hint every conversation you have with a prospect is a sensitive conversation!). And it might not give off the professional image that you were after.

Often there’s lot of noise – which makes it difficult to hear and concentrate; and distractions that make it more difficult to focus on the task at hand. And as sexist as it sounds (there’s research to back this up), that makes it all the harder for men to focus. They tend to scan the environment constantly for threats. In an enclosed meeting or board room, their need to scan is greatly reduced. If that’s you or your client, you might consider hiring a short-term meeting space.

I’d love it if you followed me on twitter or you can connect with me via linkedin. And please feel free to share what’s worked for you make the right impression.

If we can help you make the best impression you can with your prospects and customers or help you focus on what matters to you in your business be it outsourcing administration, answering your phone or providing a great meeting space at a moment’s notice, please call us on +61 2 9994 8000 or visit us www.serviced.com.au