The Importance of First Impressions in Business | The business world is built on good relationships. No matter whether we are talking about the relationships with your associates, your financiers, or your clients your company won’t have any chance of surviving the business arena if it’s not capable of fostering and strengthening these connections.
Here is the point where most business owners make one huge mistake. Like in the case of personal relationships, the corporate world doesn’t forgive bad first impressions. So, instead of pouring excessive amounts of resources into fixing the way the business world perceives us maybe we should simply put more effort into making a strong first impression.
Let us take a quick look at how exactly impressions benefit your company and what you can do to make a bigger impact upon arrival.
How strong first impression benefits your company
We will start by quickly going through a couple of reasons why you should try to convey a certain type of demeanor in the first place. Although some people claim this outlook on the business world is dated and superficial nurturing a professional look does offer some unique strategic advantages:
- Sharp look suggests personal confidence
- Taking care of the professional image demonstrate openness
- Effort to look corporate showcases meticulousness and reliability
- Strong image conveys a strong sense of professionalism
All these factors are incredibly important when threading the dainty world of corporate negotiations. Recent research indicates that as much as 55% of our first impressions are formed by the information we get visually. As for the rest, 38% is formed by the way the words are spoken. Only 7% of our opinions are formed by actual words.
Tips for improving the personal image and making stronger impressions
Now, let’s see what actions you can take to leverage the numbers we’ve just covered to your advantage.
Improve your attire
You know the old saying – clothes make the man. These words rang true in the Middle Ages when they originated and they will remain true for as long as we dress. So, start your image overhaul by acquiring a sharper, slimmer, and trendier set of suits. Celebrity magazines should give you a good idea of which direction to go. Also, pay attention to small details like tie bars and money clips. Although we don’t put enough thought into picking stylish jewelry for men can greatly help everything you’ve accomplished so far.
Work on your attitude and body language
People can convey a lot of information about their personality just by their posture and the way they fill in the room. Do your best then to keep a positive attitude and practice keeping a relaxed smile on your face. Walk straight and make big steps – they give your movement a stronger purpose and make you look confident. Practice out a couple of power poses so you know what to do with your hands and feet while you are idling and don’t be afraid to take some space. Also, try to always keep strong eye contact.
Constantly improve your knowledge
Any semblance of confidence and professionalism you are trying to project will quickly falter as soon as you start talking if your image is not backed up with good knowledge of the topic at hand. Therefore, if you have to attend some important meeting or conference, be sure to know every little detail you are going to discuss. Strong general knowledge is strongly recommended albeit not necessary. Even so, small talk represents a good warm-up for more serious business topics so mastering this soft skill can’t really hurt.
Become the master of courtesy
Courtesy can be best described as the art of maintaining a friendly and respectful demeanor even if circumstances don’t always align with your goals or customs. Keeping in mind we live in a globalized world mastering this skill will require spending some time to explore foreign cultures and local business etiquette. For instance, in the Chinese corporate culture taking an aggressive stance and asserting an opinion is considered offensive. The strongest results are achieved through paced-out and mutually respectful conversations.
We hope these few tips gave you some general idea about the importance of first impressions in the corporate world as well as pointed out a couple of ways you can use this knowledge to your advantage. Corporate connections are not that different from personal relationships – bad impressions sometimes need years to repair. Don’t make such a mistake and make sure you always make a strong entrance. You may never get a chance at a second attempt.