Just How Important Is Your First Impression?

coffee, coffee table, latte

Nearly a year ago, I heard about a new coffee shop that had just opened the town where we live, called Purdy’s Coffee Company. Although I write and work from home, there are days when I need a change of scenery. So, when I learned about Purdy’s, it wasn’t long before I just had to check it out.

When I walked in for the very first time, I was instantly impressed. From the friendliness of the staff, to the renovated space that Purdy’s occupied, the place offered an truly unique experience. That strong first impression set the tone for my entire experience and it has kept me coming back for more. Today, my wife and I recommend it to just about anyone that we speak with, and have yet to have had a negative experience there.

But, what if that first visit was less than stellar? What if the tables were dirty and the service unexplainably slow? I (and anyone, for that matter), would have had a hard time finding a reason to come back. The Purdy’s experience was defined by the all important first impression.

Pshycological research has shown that first impressions are formed with in the first 7 to 17 seconds of initial contact. Just as with any new small business, like Purdy’s, first impressions play a huge role in our likability, the overall experience we give others when they are around us, and ultimately our success. If you are building a business, or just simply want to relate better with those around you, acing the first impression is key.

What steps you take to try to make a solid first impression? Do you find it hard or awkward to meet new people? How do you think the first impression you give effects the overall experience you give to those around you? Think of a time that you were most impressed by the first impression left by a person or business you have come in contact with.

One response to “Just How Important Is Your First Impression?”

  1. It’s always awkward meeting new people. I’m all about it. I want people to know that I’m an enthusiastic, optimistic, happy-go-lucky guy. Take it, or leave it. I want to leave a positive impact towards everyone and I do my absolute best (though I’ve failed at times) to not figure someone out on a first impression. I don’t think you can grow as person thinking you know someone without getting to know someone.

    -Juan Carlos (J.C.)

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