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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Seven Seconds to Make a First Impression — Make it Count!

Seven Seconds to Make a First Impression — Make it Count!

We’ve all heard, “you’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression.” This applies to so many facets of life, and when it comes to sales, that first 7-10 seconds can make or break you.

Our brains make a thousand computations during the first seven seconds we see someone. That means within seven seconds, the person across from you is assessing whether you’re likable, trustworthy, and competent.

Is the impression you create a blend of your personality, body language, and communication skills? If not, it should be!

4 Tips to Connect with Someone in 7 Seconds

1. Prepare

Getting That First AppointmentBenjamin Franklin famously said: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’." It’s brilliant in its simplicity, and cuts straight to the point.

With up to date information literally at our fingertips, there's no excuse to not prepare before engaging someone for the first time.

  • Research them
  • Research their company and their competitors
  • Look at their LinkedIn profile
  • Look at their company’s social media
  • Determine any industry trends affecting their business

Find any information you can use to engage with them during those first few seconds of conversation.

RELATED: Set the Stage for Success: Prepare Yourself AND Your Prospect

2. Start with a Smile

Building rapport is critical when first meeting someone, and it starts with one simple act — a smile. A smile displays confidence, happiness, friendliness, and best of all, it’s contagious!

Studies show that your trust levels improve, and you’re more likable when you smile. Researchers found that employees in the service industry who smiled came across as more likable, friendly, and competent, and as a result, were better paid.

RELATED: Seven Simple Steps That Put Prospects in a Better Mood

3. Keep Eye Contact

Whether you meet with a prospect in person or virtually, body language plays an important role. Eye contact demonstrates sincerity and trust. It helps to keep the prospect engaged and focused.  

This can be hard during virtual meetings, so make sure to keep focused on the camera. Consider putting a small sticky note with the topics you want to cover right next to the camera so you can keep yourself from looking away.

RELATED: How to Use Body Language to Increase Sales

4. Lead with Empathy

Demonstrating empathy in sales improves your ability to connect with your customers and helps to build relationships. Show you appreciate your prospect right away by thanking them for their time and for meeting with you. Let them know you understand that their time is valuable and that you will not waste it.

RELATED: How to Maintain Relationships with Clients 

While you can’t stop people from making snap decisions you can understand how to make those decisions work in your favor.  A combination of preparation, body language, and empathy are a great way to set yourself up for success!Sales Accelerator - Finding Lead Course Sample

Topics: Lead Nurturing sales process