Last Updated Sep 17, 2009 8:58 AM EDT
With that in mind, here are the eight simple rules:
- RULE #1: First impressions are CRUCIAL. The opening minute of any new interaction creates an impression that is difficult to change.
- RULE #2: First impressions are a SKILL. Just like any other sales skill, you can become a master of the first impression by focusing in on it.
- RULE #3: It's all about the CUSTOMER. If you find yourself talking too much about your weekend, family or job, then you're not listening enough.
- RULE #4: Prospect names are IMPORTANT. When meeting someone for the first time, get their name right. Be fanatical when pronouncing unusual names.
- RULE #5: Practice a friendly GREETING. If you're in sales, your smile, handshake and eye contact must all be top quality. Never smarmy.
- RULE #6: Put likability in CONTEXT. Your first impression will be a result of likeability, competence and preparedness. Pay attention to all three.
- RULE #7: Focus on what's POSITIVE. Whatever the temptation, avoid criticizing anyone, even a competitor, in front of customers. It's a turn-off.
- RULE #8: Attitude is EVERYTHING. Memorable people are genuinely interested, enthusiastic, and eager to help. You can't fake it, so really feel it.
BTW: the above is based upon a conversation with Michael St. Lawrence, author of the bestseller "If You're Not Out Selling, You're Being Outsold"