The business world has become much more relaxed over the years -and that’s a fabulous thing!
However -in some instances- it might not be as accepting as you think. While I am very much about being authentic, other people still make judgments on the basis of first impressions.
I am most definitely more about being the kind of person YOU want to do business with. It’s a karmic synergy and you’ll be more likely to attract more like-minded people to you and your business.
People looking to partner, hire, or buy from you will carefully dissect you if they are looking to engage and do business with you.
It’s what I like to call and am sure you’ve heard of: The KLT Factor (Know, Like, and Trust Factor).
The deeper the engagement or commitment at hand, the more they will want to know. It may not be fair (or even conscious), but some of our habits can trigger an adverse reaction.
So what do you do? Conscious reframing by doing your best to avoid them or correct them. Your success may depend on it.
Here are 15 Habits That Can Ruin a First Impression:
1. A weak handshake.
Handshakes in American society are still very telling. A solid handshake may go unnoticed or it may even send a jolt of positive energy. But a weak handshake may leave the receiver questioning your confidence and energy.
2. Inappropriate Attire.
So halter tops look great on you…AWESOME! But clothing that’s too revealing will get you attention, but quite possibly not the kind you want. Boring doesn’t equate to appropriate, neither does wearing a date night outfit. Choose a style that fits your industry and make it your own within reason. Few industries will welcome you in yoga pants.
3. Chewing gum.
You may like the taste and the motion, but chewing gum while meeting someone gives an impression of immaturity.
The great speaker Walter Bond said: “Confidence is arrogance under control.” Learn the difference and people won’t think you are a jerk when they meet you.
5. Sloppy clothing.
Shabby chic does not mean dirty. Your clothes should be clean and neat. You can tell the difference between intentional business casual style versus someone who doesn’t wash or iron their clothes.
6. Bad breath.
This one is tough because you may halitosis and not even know it. And the truth is, no one really wants to tell you. Most bad breath issues come from food or poor dental hygiene. The good news is that you can remedy both. Keep fresh mints handy for after meals and take care of your teeth and gums.
7. Excessive texting.
When meeting people, if you can’t stop looking at your phone, or responding, you will send a signal that you find no one more important than yourself. You seriously CAN last 15 to 30 minutes without knowing what your kids are up to. Be present in the moment, that has more value than you believe.
8. Body odor.
Like bad breath, you may be unaware, and people struggle with telling you. Solution? Take showers, use deodorant, and wash your clothes. Also, lay off the perfume. Aromizing BO only makes it worse.
9. Being intolerant.
The PC police is overrated at times but in truth, most people really don’t want to offend others. When you engage in the business world, you make a conscious choice to deal with people of all types. When you show people you are intolerant, it makes them wonder what’s wrong with you. By all means, create conversations, but be prepared to handle difference of opinions with grace. It can be done.
Men and women will likely never completely understand each other, but that doesn’t mean they have to be disrespectful. There are natural and distinctive masculine and feminine traits that can appear in either sex. Learn to deal with people as individuals and professionals, not based on their gender.
If you are always seeing the glass half empty, you are projecting that you are a difficult and dissatisfied human being. No one wants to work with an unhappy person. Decide to change the way you see things, because happiness IS a choice.
12. Self Rambling.
A good story about how and why you got started in business can always be entertaining. But when it turns into a continual droning about nothing but you, it will send others running for the door as soon as they can.
This habit can be entertaining among your friends, but in a first meeting it comes off as rude. Show people you are open and eager. You can eye-roll together once you have an established relationship.
14. Unkempt hair.
Hair is a highly noticeable way to show people how you see yourself. Styles that are modern and well kept will signal that you know who you are and care about detail. Dirty hair says you don’t care enough about yourself to bother.
15. Not listening.
Everyone wants to feel important and appreciated. Be the type of person you want to meet and take a reciprocal approach. Be the first to offer your focused attention.
Treat your new relationships kindly. No one needs to know about your bowel movements or relationship woes at the first encounter. Leave others wanting more; be the type of person you want to meet!
Any pointers on how you handle first encounters? Were these tips helpful? Please share if so. Would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below!