I mention in my book “The Five Simple but Essential Steps to Getting the Sale” that you will never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
This fact is even more evident when placing your client in a cold direct sales situation.
When you consider that the average person when placed in new or unfamiliar surroundings will take in up to 70% of his initial information visually, the remaining 30% being divided between the auditory and kinetic senses, and a first impression will be made in a matter of seconds, you’d better make sure that they like the look of you or your presentations going to be all uphill!
Let’s look at a simple example to demonstrate this fact.
Think back to the last time you were on holiday in a strange country. Remember the first night when you went down to the sea front looking for a nice bar to have a drink in. As you walk along the promenade you’re visually scanning all the bars until one catches your eye correct? When one does catch your eye you’ll cross the road and go in, once inside you visually scan the décor and decide in a split second whether or not you like the look of the other customers sitting at the bar and more importantly, the bar staff.
Now all that information you’ve just taken in visually. Assuming you like everything you see, your next sense the auditory sense kicks in and you start to analyze the sounds, i.e. do you like the music that’s playing?, does the conversation at the bar sound friendly?, have you been greeted with a big smile and a welcoming opening line from the bar staff?. This is when your kinetic sense kicks in and tells you if you feel comfortable or not. If you feel comfortable you order a drink and stay. If you don’t feel comfortable you turn around, walk out and start the process all over again at the next bar.
That is exactly the same process we use to gather our information when we meet someone for the first time and that is exactly the process your clients will use when they meet you for the first time.
If you don’t make a good visual impression and greet your clients in an open and friendly way their kinetic sense will tell them they don’t feel comfortable with you and if they don’t feel comfortable with you they certainly won’t trust you enough to buy your product at the end of your presentation no matter how good it is!
So how do you make a good first impression every time?
Here are five tips that might help you:
1. Make sure your sales material is clean, complete, and presentable and you have at least two pens on your person in case one runs out. That way you can concentrate on making a good impression without worrying about your sales material.
2. Go to the toilet. Nothing saps your concentration like a full bladder! Besides once you are with your clients you don’t want to leave them again till the deal is done.
3. While you’re in the toilet check yourself in the mirror and make sure you are clean and presentable. If you smoke, clean your teeth and wash your hands. Nothing is more off putting to a non-smoker or even worse an ex-smoker than shaking hands with someone who stinks of stale tobacco.
4. Now spend at least five minutes on your own away from any other reps filling your mind with positive thoughts. If you’re giving off loads of positive vibrations when you meet your clients they will also feel positive about you and are far more likely to feel comfortable during your sales presentation.
5. Lastly put yourself in their shoes. Try to imagine how you would feel meeting yourself for the first time? What impression would you make on yourself? Is there anything you would change? And remember; always treat your clients exactly the way you would like to be treated whether they buy from you or not. The person they talk to after their presentation with you today, might be your clients tomorrow!
Wishing you all a very prosperous 2009
See you all in the New Year