It is very important to remember that you’re always representing your business and having an impact on how your business is perceived. A business owner always needs to make a good impression, especially a first one. The first impression can make a major difference in many different circumstances when it comes to being a business owner.
A first impression can be the differentiating factor in obtaining funding. Most investors will know if your business idea is a good one within minutes of being pitched, the other thing investors of looking at is the pitcher. Investors don’t just invest in a business, they invest in the person. What can be perceived as small, irrelevant tendencies can deter an investor from investing in a business. Steven Schussler in his book “It’s A Jungle in There” states it is very important to maintain your physical appearance, have a firm handshake, and have the proper body language for the business interaction.
Steven recommends wearing suits to all business interactions, doesn’t matter if he is in the hot Florida weather, always dress professionally. As well as maintaining proper dress code, make sure that you’re well groomed and present a nice aroma. Not doing these things can make a big impression, and leave a negative connotation in someone’s mind. It is always important to have a firm handshake. This displays confidence and you may only have one chance to make the first handshake, so do it right. Body language also goes a long way. Making proper eye contact and facial expressions is something to be aware of. You can easily offend someone by making certain facial expressions like rolling your eyes or seemingly not interested in what someone has to say.
In the article “How To Make a Powerful First Impression” by Robert Jones, it states person-to-person marketing is more important than ever. The article refers to Lillian Bjorseth, a communications consultant, and how people decide several things about you within the first 10 seconds of seeing you. She says that people put off an aura, and that aspects such as dress code, body language, and just overall appearance determine this aura that others perceive of you. Everything from the initial handshake, the eye contact, and the conversation all matter when making an impression. It is important to be confident and portray a positive aura.
First impressions don’t just matter to potential investors; they matter to your potential and existing customers. Customers will notice a person’s aura and have their notions about the business owner and employees, and that will have an overall impact of the business’ product or service. It is always important that all aspects of your business make a positive impression, and shed a good overall light on the business. This goes back to my prior post about “Sweating the small stuff”, little things like appearance, body language and hand shakes may seem like they’re not a big deal, but they really do have an impact on the business as a whole.
Jones, Robert. How To Make a Powerful First Impression. Entrepreneur.com. 16 November 2008. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/198622
Schussler, Steven. It’s A Jungle In There. New York. Sterling Publishing Co. 2010. Print