This hackneyed phrase cannot be more apt when building new business relationships.
Firstly I have asked a number of human resource managers what is the average time it takes interviewers to make their decision when assessing the interviewee. The answer, unfortunately is approximately 45 seconds. Unfair? Yes, but human nature dictates that “perception is reality” and I am told by these managers that the other 59 minutes of the interview is usually to confirm those first impressions.
I then decided to ask many delegates on my courses and workshops how long it takes them to make a decision on potential new employees. Within a minute or two they gave a similar answer to the HR managers. So if these first impressions can change the destiny of the people who have come for interview then the results invariably can be the same when we meet potential new clients. The principles are the same, we all make snap judgements when meeting people for the first time. It’s natural, not fair, but natural and normal. Let us highlight and put under the microscope those first two or three minutes which can be critical to your business.
You enter a room, be it social or business, where there is a group of strangers and your role is to make a fantastic first impression to start building relationships.
Firstly, take control and make the first move. How many people attend functions and wait for something to happen to them. The English, by nature, are shy and reserved when moving into new areas. Going out of their comfort zones are areas, by definition, they simply don’t like.
Nervous, uneasy, all the way up to petrified are just 15 words used by people when I ask “How do you feel when going in to a business or even social reception?”
The author of this article is Will Kintish, leading UK authority on effective and confident networking both offline and online. If you’d like Will to speak at your conference or training workshops, call him on 0161 773 3727. Visit www.kintish.co.uk and www.linkedintraining.co.uk for further free and valuable information on all aspects of networking.