In business, I have many opportunities to meet new people and to network. At a recent professional meeting, someone I did not know sat next to me. After we exchanged names and where we work, the didactic exchange was soon over.
From that point on, this individual continued talking about himself, his experience, his work, his clients, etc. It wasn’t a dialogue; it was an infomercial. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’re all trained to have a 30-second elevator speech so we can introduce ourselves professionally in order to begin a dialogue. But with this particular individual, it seemed that he just wanted an audience, he wasn’t interested in learning anything else about me, only educating me on who he was and what he does.
It was an opportunity for him to make an initial impression and he did, but it wasn’t a good one. Being focused on himself and what he had to offer and not taking an interest in the same from me was a turn off. I lost interest. I don’t even remember his name or much about what he was telling me because I was so bored that I was looking for a chance to get away. What I do recall was that he had a service or product to sell. And while I may not be a buyer directly, I could offer suggestions or referrals now or in the future.
Each day, we only have ONE opportunity to make that FIRST impression. Make one that wows!
“Two things remain irretrievable:
time and a first impression.”
- Cynthia Ozick