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Frequently Asked Questions about First Impressions



About First Impressions | What are yours?

The first impression you make on someone will have lasting effects moving forward. And once you make a first impression, there’s no turning back. As a business keynote speaker in the art of first impressions, you can imagine I get plenty of first impression-related inquiries and questions. Rather than answer them individually, I decided to address them all at once. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about first impressions and my answers that will set you in the right direction.

How Important are First Impressions Really?

First impressions are very important. The impression a person gets when they first meet you will set the tone for your relationship moving forward. In some cases, it can be the difference between whether a client wants to work with you or not. It is possible to change first impressions, but if a person decides they don’t want to work with you based on a first impression, you may never see them again.

How Do I Know What My First Impression Is?

You never really know what your first impression is. After all, people will react differently to you depending on their personality. For example, some people will judge you based on your appearance, while others will focus on your communication skills, and so on.

However, there are ways you can determine how you’re coming across to other people. I break this down in an ABCDE algorithm as follows:

  • Appearance: how you look.
  • Behavior: how you interact.
  • Communication: how you communicate.
  • Digital Assets: how you present yourself online.
  • Environment: whom and how you surround yourself.

If you have successfully crossed off the items above off your list, it’s likely you are making a positive first impression.

Or you can also take this free perception audit, which will give you a personalized insight into how you are perceived by others based on your first impression.

How Long Does It Take to Make a First Impression?

Some studies say it takes a tenth of a second to make a first impression, while others say it can take up to seven seconds. The point is it happens quickly, so it’s best to be prepared.

Are First Impressions Always Accurate?

No, first impressions are not always accurate. People may judge you based on the mood they are in, unconscious biases (a learned attitude or belief that exists in the subconscious mind), selective perception (which involves not noticing or forgetting stimuli to avoid discomfort), and other factors you have no control of. However, it’s important that you put your best foot forward so you know you tried your hardest regardless of the opinions people may form.

What’s More Important, First or Lasting Impressions?

First and lasting impressions are both important for different reasons. Obviously, the first impression a person gets of you is based on what goes through their mind when they first meet you. This also contributes to the lasting impression they get. But the lasting impression will also be comprised of the experiences they have with you along the way. It includes the way you interact with them and even how you part ways with them when the relationship terminates.

A first impression plays a major role in whether the relationship moves past the first meeting. The lasting relationship will determine whether the client stays loyal and continues using you on a professional basis.

What if I Make a Bad Impression?

It is possible to make a bad impression. And it may not be entirely your fault. Someone may catch you when you are not feeling your best. Or they may meet you after you went through an unpleasant ordeal.

There are ways to make up for bad impressions. Mainly, it will require an apology. You can contact the person via email, text, or whatever method you think is best to briefly explain the reason for the poor first impression and assure them it will never happen again.

You will not always be successful in your efforts to change someone’s opinion of you. But it can’t hurt to try. Well, most of the time…

For example, you never want to point out flaws that people won’t notice. Like, say your office was a bit dirty during a consultation. Suddenly you get super paranoid that the client will think less of you because your office is dirty. So, you call and apologize for the dirt.

Meanwhile, the client never noticed the dirt in the first place. But now that you mentioned it, they start thinking about it and realize it was actually kind of messy. Now they don’t want to work with you. This might be an extreme circumstance, but the point is, don’t overthink it.

Hopefully, this article helped to answer some of your first impression-related FAQs. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I will help you achieve a first impression you can feel confident about.

Frequently Asked Questions about First Impressions in a Nutshell

PS: Interested in more content like this? Make sure to follow me on Instagram. It’s where I visualize and publish my thoughts daily. I hope to see you there.


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