First impressions are not fair and that first glance does not give others an accurate portrait of the authentic, complex person you are; nevertheless, people often judge us by those fleeting thoughts. Since that first impression is made in as little as seven seconds, just walking through the door can prompt someone to immediately want to know you and your products or service better…or excuse themselves and move on. Experts look the part, take care of the details associated with a professional appearance, manner and how well they communicate (body language, really “hearing” what the person is saying, speech patterns, appearance and knowledge, to name a few).
Personal charisma, just like technical skills, can play a large role in showing that we are the confident “expert.” This does not happen overnight but can be developed over time and regular practice. Most importantly, however, is that we thoroughly “know our stuff” and can share it with enthusiasm by:
1. Demonstrating a high energy level, which is infectious and makes people want to be around you.
2. Exhibiting a professional appearance. If you “appear” organized and well put together, they will usually assume that your business is managed skillfully as well.
3. Being well spoken. Check your speech patterns, tone of voice, enthusiasm, and strength of your delivery. Ask a couple close friends or associates how you can improve. Focus on how you sound and how others react to what you say.
4. Accepting compliments and kudos graciously. Never downplay a compliment as you are essentially saying that person is mistaken and that you don’t deserve it. It is a key factor in losing someone’s respect.
5. Smiling with a confident demeanor and erect posture that says you are someone people can feel comfortable doing business with.
Stay tuned for Part 2: Show Them Your “Expert” Qualities