How to Make a First Impression that Boosts Sales

The Most Important Part of the Process

If you had to choose one part of the sales process to identify as the most important part what would you choose? Asking for the sale? Overcoming the objection? Discovering the customer’s needs and wants? If I had to select just one as the most important part I would say it’s customer greeting. Learning how to make a first impression that’s positive can boost your sales!  

On today’s show discover:

  • …why the first 45 seconds of your customer interaction is crucial for your sales success;
  • … why, when you’re with a customer it’s always “SHOW TIME”;
  • …and how to make a first impression that boosts sales.

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The First 45 Seconds

45 seconds for a first impressionDid you know as a human being you are capable of making snap judgments about others based solely on how they say “hello”? It’s true! In fact it takes just a fraction of a second to decide if someone is trustworthy or should be avoided.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland recorded 64 different people reading a paragraph that included the word “hello.” They then extracted just the word hello and had another group share their impressions simply by listening to the recording.

They found that the participants largely agreed on which voice matched which personality trait. It wasn’t important whether the trait was true or not, it was more interesting to see consensus among the group. It demonstrated how people formulate opinions about others quickly from something as simple as the way they say hello.

You know all good sales are based on trust and value. Customers need to trust you, your product and your company in order to buy.

The first 45 seconds of your interaction with your customer is critical because they are going to make snap judgments about you and whether they feel they can trust you.  They’ll judge your level of education and whether or not you like your job. They’ll decide if you’re confident and if you know what you’re talking about. They’ll do all of that within the first few seconds of your conversation.

Making a great first impression doesn’t guarantee a sale but a sale is more likely when a customer forms a positive opinion of you up front. In fact, a first impression can be really hard if not impossible to reverse…perhaps that’s why they say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

It’s Show Time

first impression it's show timeBut what about those times when you’re having a really bad day, can that impact the impression you make on your customer? Yes, it can, if you let it…. but you’re in control of the impression you make.

In every profession, whether you’re a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher or a salesperson when you’re connecting with your customer, “it’s showtime”. Show time just means that it’s time to be at your best. It doesn’t mean to be fake or insincere but it does mean that no matter what kind of day you’re having, your customer still deserves your best.

If you stepped in a muddle puddle on your way to work, or you spilled coffee on your favorite shirt you need to put it behind you so it doesn’t affect the way you greet your customer. It’s show time and time for you to make a great first impression.

You know greeting and first impressions are so important that even some REALLY BIG national stores hire people to do nothing but make sure the customer has a great first impression. Why? They know a happy shopper, who has a positive first impression, is more likely to buy.

How to Make a First Impression

It’s really easy and it should be very natural for you. With that said there are some key elements that are important in making a great first impression so let’s review those quickly.

Be Yourself

People can tell when someone is being phony. You know like that DJ voice some people like to use. You guessed it, if you seem phony the customer will not find you trustworthy and you’ll be off on a bad foot. Instead, be yourself and…

Be Sincere

When you’re sincere it shows through. When you say thank you for calling really mean it; after-all they didn’t have to call and since you can’t do your job unless they do…you should be thankful, right?

Present Yourself Professionally

You’re a professional salesperson and you should come across that way.

  • Use professional language,
  • Give all of your attention to your customer
  • Give them your name before you ask for theirs and…

Smile

Whether you do sales in person or on the phone a smile changes the tone of your voice and makes you sound more warm and inviting. People would rather talk to happy people than grumpy people.

Be Positive

Avoid talking negatively about other products, people or companies. Remember, your customer is looking for reasons to buy from you. They’re not interested in reasons why they shouldn’t buy from someone else! So instead of bashing the other guy…offer compelling evidence about your product’s unique selling points.

Be Confident

Another key component of a memorable first impression is confidence. When you project confidence customers take note and formulate a higher opinion of you and your ability to help them.  You know the product, the offers, and the sales process, you’re a trained professional, you have everything you need to be confident.

Be Enthusiastic

If there is one thing that all great salespeople have it’s enthusiasm. When you’re enthusiastic about meeting a new customer and helping them solve a problem it makes a tremendous first impression.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Said:

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Today’s One Two Punch

Make a Great First Impression and Make More Sales

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