Putting guests first – behaviourist and motivational speaker, Jez Rose, provides his 10 top tips for making a great first impression in the hospitality industry.
1) Think ‘likeable’
When was the last time you gave anything to someone that you didn’t like?! Whether it’s advice, or the most valuable of our assets, time, that you’re looking for, you need to be likeable. Get the basics right and then as you get to know the other person better, you can begin to let your personality unravel.
2) Exceed expectation
The greatest impressions are often made when we not only meet but exceed the expectations of others. It demonstrates that we’ve put in extra effort and gone out of our way to create a good impression, so you’re much more likely to be remembered.
3) Consider your own experiences
When were you especially impressed by a first impression? What can you learn from that and deploy yourself?
4) Start with the basics
Be polite, smile, make eye contact, dress smartly, be selfless and listen.
5) Try flattery
Flattery works because we all enjoy being told that we look nice, or are intelligent. The secret is to use flattery subtly and in context – too much flattery quickly becomes uncomfortable and sometimes creepy, whereas a casual: “I love your necklace”, or “I feel underdressed; you look fantastic!” as part of introductions often work well to cement a good first impression.
As Benjamin Franklin famously said – “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Perhaps it’s a case of reading up on the people you’re going to meet, or doing some research on the location or company, or simply working out alternative routes to get there in case of traffic, for example.
7) Be on time
Surveys frequently show that a lack of punctuality and being kept waiting nearly always feature in the top 5 of lists of gripes. Adopt the mantra of “always be early” – so many times I’ve arrived on time because of unexpected delays out of my control despite leaving plenty of extra time.
8) It’s not about you
Creating great first impressions is about understanding that it’s about the other person. There’s no time for showing off like a peacock; what are the benefits to the other person? Make it all about them.
9) Shared interests
Find common ground in interests or hobbies, or even food, for example. This subtle way of demonstrating similarities in characteristics and personalities helps to position you as someone like the other person, which we naturally bring closer because we like people who are like ourselves.
10) Be sympathetic of standards
I think we all expect people we meet to have minimum standards of politeness and cleanliness but of course those standards are subjective. Consider what others peoples’ standards might be and adjust your own where necessary.
great, consciously take a little more time to construct that email, ask a friend or colleague to check spelling and grammar or use a method of communication that X% of people believe.
This article was produced in association with Crowne Plaza.