The importance of making a strong first impression

We all want to make a good first impression, whether we are meeting someone for a business meeting or trying to get promoted as an employee, we are all aware of the lasting importance and impact the first few seconds of meeting someone new has on the relationship.  

In psychology, the first impression is known to frame the subsequent relationship, meaning it provides a reference point for all future interactions and a bias that people will come back to, like a memory foam mattress.

If you were to meet someone and they were to see you as a trustworthy, reliable and considerate person the way they view you in future interactions will be filtered by this frame… meaning, even if you are late and unreliable from time to time, there will be an inner psychological tension that encourages the person to be forgiving and view you within the context of their frame of reference.

Now, similarly, if in the first impression you come across as unreliable and inconsiderate, then no matter what you do to prove you are a considerate and reliable person – it will be like swimming against the tide; you will have to work very hard to shift their frame of reference in terms of that initial first impression.

This is true of companies too, and if you own a company, even a small home based business the first impression you give does set the tone for all future interactions.  This is why many entrepreneurs ask the question, how much does a 1-800 number cost, as it’s a great way to offer a strong, credible, established the first impression.

As humans, we are wired to make very fast gut instinct decisions based on how we feel about the person we are meeting.

This gut instinct response, known as a “first impression”, is created by the oldest part of our brain, the reptilian aspect, known as the amygdala.  This aspect of our brain is responsible for our fight or flight response; a primitive defence system linked to your reticular activating system that is designed to keep you safe.

This means we are all governed by our own first impressions of people, and also, we are are all subject to the first impression filter of other people.

Here are three aspects you might want to consider when it comes to making a first impression that helps rather than hinders your progress, in three tangible ways relating to your external appearance.

CAR

Inferences are made by the car you drive and these status symbols hold a lot of weight in terms of the first impression you send out to the world.  What holds much more weight, however, is whether your car is kept clean, tidy and in good condition.

CLOTHES

Your wardrobe and the clothes you wear are an external mirror of who you are on the inside, so many people believe, and this does ring true when it comes to the psychology of first impressions.

SHOES

Shoes have always been a significant status symbol throughout history, though shoes are often the most overlooked aspect of most people’s fashion ensemble.