First impressions – the starting point of successful sales. Guess what – you also have a first impression “online”.
Often you have your customer at the point of saying “Hello” – or not as it may be, I’d like you to see what we’re currently discussing here: The Fundamentals of Sales on Globalcademy.
Within three seconds your customers and prospects will formulate a first impression about you. The question is:
What first impression are you making?
Is it one that generates trust and likeability?
Do people want to buy from you?
First impressions are the starting point of your successful sales. People want to buy from someone they like and who values them. They are more open to hearing what you have to say about your product and their needs. They comprise of several areas which we are going to look at in more detail:
- Body language
- Initial contact
Your attitude towards life, your job, your company, your product, and your prospects or customers are going to filter through into your interaction with your prospect or customer. You may not be able to control the events of the day but you can control your attitude towards them. You do this by rising above your circumstances, feelings, frustrations, and so on. The reality is the world is full of many negative reports and attitudes. Switch on your radio or TV to find out how much negativity bombards us on a daily basis. People are attracted to positivity and happiness. No, this does not mean be inauthentic. On the other hand, your attitude determines your success in life and how well you rise above the negativities and curve balls life throws your way.
Your attitude needs to be
Think about those moments you came across someone who were truly excited about a product they either bought or sold. They were a real brand advocate and an influencer for the product. They spoke positively and enthusiastically about the product. They were genuine in how they felt towards the product. You walked away from the conversation intrigued and wondering if you shouldn’t maybe give the product a try. An example would be listening to people who have had successful weight loss on a certain diet plan or product. What is selling the product to you is the person’s attitude.
Your appearance will convey respect and pride to both your company and your customer or prospect. It shows that you value them and have a positive attitude towards them. For your appearance to help make a great first impression, you need to ensure that your clothing is professional and appropriate to your line of work. According to studies, people are more likely to buy from people who have a good personal appearance.
These things may sound obvious but it is good to pay attention to things like
- Cleanliness – Is your hair, nails, and teeth well looked after and clean?
- Clothing – Make sure that your clothes are pressed. Your clothing needs to convey pride and professionalism. Make sure that your shoes are polished or clean.
- Posture – Have great posture. Don’t slouch or be too rigid. A relaxed but straight posture will help you convey confidence, authority, and pride.
We often think that verbal communication conveys our message the loudest and clearest. Not so. Your nonverbal communication speaks the most at any point in a conversation. Body language is crucial to creating a positive first impression. Here are some tips
- Be open, warm and friendly – Please don’t stand with your arms folded, this often conveys a closed stance. You want your customer or prospect to feel that you are approachable and inviting.
- Shake hands firmly
- Have good eye contact – Glancing around communicates nervousness and staring at someone is awkward and uncomfortable
I would encourage you to do a study of body language in your own time – it certainly helped me in my career.
With today’s Internet access, customers and prospects can find you on social media and look up your profile for more information. Make sure that your social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn convey a professional and appropriate first impression. You want people to see the same thing on social media as they will in a face-to-face meeting. Here your reputation is important so make sure it is helping you create that great first impression.
Your customer or prospect had three seconds to assess your physical appearance and attitude. They have almost made up their minds about you. Now is the time for you to seal that positive first impression. You extend your hand with a warm smile as you say a friendly ”Good day Joe, my name is Tom. How are you”. Joe shakes your hand, returns your smile and courteously replies that he is well. You pay close attention to Joe showing him that he has your undivided attention and interest. You converse with him, asking him relative information while listening attentively to his answers. You have now created a great first impression and are well on your way to making a successful sale.
Before moving onto the next lesson, I want to leave you with some final words of encouragement. As a salesperson, you are helping people all day long for as long as you are in the sales industry. You help people by listening to their needs and situations before working with them on meeting those needs and resolving their situations. You help people to become aware of problems or needs they may not have realized. You help people to look at their business and situations through a fresh perspective. The main reason you are in sales is to see people succeed and add value to their lives. Yes, you add value to people’s lives by providing them with the right information at the right time. Your solutions and products are of value to them. All of this is a noble feat and not something to be taken lightly. At the end of the day, businesses would not succeed if they did not have you selling their product or service.