Business Bytes: 5 ways to make a great first impression

We all may think that we’ve nailed first impressions. We’ve sold ourselves in interviews, have been a success at networking events and were legends when we fronted that pitch. But research has found that a first impression is made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. So have you really made a good first impression? Try doing these things next time you meet someone.

1. Think about your appearance 
You want to make sure that you are portraying the best possible image of yourself. So think beforehand about your outfit from head to toe and prepare yourself well ahead of time. Consider your hair, what you’re wearing and accessories like handbags and necklaces. By looking your best, you will feel your best and more confident, which will leave a better first impression.

2. Body language 
You could say that your body language actually says more about you than anything that comes out of your mouth as it really does speak volumes. When you meet someone, a firm handshake is a must as well as being stood tall and showing authority. To make a lasting impression though, smile and use eye contact. 

3. Start the conversation
By starting the conversation, you appear confident and interested in that person. If you don’t know much about them, simply engage in a bit of small talk to get going, or just ask them how their day has been. This will create ease between the two of you and you can get off on the right foot. Alternatively, do your research beforehand and ask them something about their company.

4. Be on time
Seems like an obvious one, but it’s by far the most important. Nobody appreciates having their time wasted, especially if it’s for no good reason. If you are late, even by just a few minutes, you have made a bad first impression as you’re not showing commitment to them. Allow yourself enough time!

5. Ask questions
In order to make a good first impression that will last, ask the other person questions about themselves. You will seem interested in them and you might find that you have a lot in common. By not asking questions, you can appear self-obsessed or boring.