How to make a great first impression

First impressions matter: it takes 26 seconds for a customer, colleague or boss to make a decision about someone, a company or a brand. You don’t have the opportunity to re-do the first impression so it’s important that you make use of the opportunity and maximise the effect.

great first impression4imprint commissioned a study about how first impressions affect brand awareness and consumer confidence. So, whether you are meeting potential clients for the first time, going for a new job or reconnecting with longstanding clients, you need to pay attention to the impression that you are giving.

Here’s how you can make a great first impression:

Dress appropriately

The clothes that you wear are the first thing that people see, and they can help boost your confidence. 7 out of 10 employees said that they wished that they had a work uniform to help them make the right first impression, and not just on the first day of employment with a company, but each and every time they met someone new.

Uniforms instil trust from the public and reassure them that they can be confident that they are dealing with a reputable company. Such is the effect of dressing appropriately that over half of study respondents stated that they would be more likely to approach someone they didn’t know if they were wearing a uniform. Two fifths of marketers believe corporate clothing is more effective than tv advertising, and more than a third considered that branded workwear is more effective than internet advertising.

Dressing appropriately increases trust and builds reputation and infers a framework of standards that will meet the expectations of both parties as both the employee and consumer are clear about the company’s ethos and working practices.

Be punctual

There is little more annoying than individuals or companies not supplying their product or services when they promised to deliver the goods. If you are going to a scheduled meeting, allow plenty of time for traffic and leave room for unexpected delays that may affect your arrival time. If you are going to be late, have the contact details of who you are going to meet at hand so that you can communicate any delay.

58% of respondents stated that arriving for a job early made them confident to perform tasks. It shows consumers or employers that you are professional, reliable and trustworthy.

Be prepared

To be punctual to appointments you need first to know where you are going! Check that you know exactly where you need to be and when for. Ensure that before any interaction with customers, suppliers or colleagues that you have the relevant documents and equipment that you need. Preparation is key to making a great first impression.

To make your first impression be remembered for all the right reasons you need to dress appropriately for the situation and arrive on time. There is no rewind button for a first impression, so make it a habit to devote some time to planning and preparing for meeting people – whether it’s a boss, colleague or client.