Everyone’s heard it before. In fact, your mother may have told you when you were a little kid—you only get one chance at a first impression. Furthermore, it’s common knowledge that most people judge you within seconds of meeting you.
As you can imagine, when it comes to networking, first impressions are everything. You want to make sure other professionals like you as soon as they lay eyes on you, and that when you open your mouth and shake their hand, you sink deeper into their good graces.
The Rules of the First Impression
Here are a few rules to make sure you make a good first impression at your next networking event.
Rule 1: Set the Tone the Morning of.
Believe it or not, your first impression often has more to do with what happens before you get to the networking event than anything after. Why? The tone of your day often carries over into your meeting. So if you have a terrible day and are depressed leading up to the event, it’s likely the theme will continue. Perhaps it’s a case of “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Whatever the case, if you’ve had a disaster of a day, consider one of the following:
Rule 2: Craft the Right Appearance.
Odds are, before you ever even open your mouth, people will form their opinion of you. Shallow? Yes. Judging a book by its cover? You bet. But we all do it.
If you’re well put together, people will be more drawn to you. Obviously spend time at the gym? You’ll be stronger and it shows. Lucky enough to be taller? Your presence will show dominance.
While we can’t change how tall we are, and we probably aren’t going to drop 20 lbs. before that next networking event, there are some things you can do to make sure you look your best the minute you walk in that door:
Don’t think looks are that important? Check out this article detailing how the way you appear can affect your salary.
Rule 3: Monitor your interactions.
As soon as you interact with someone at a networking event, you cement their perception of you. And the longer you talk, the farther you drive it home. So make sure you interact accordingly:
Remember, first impressions are crucial. As a PR professional, you need to network and build relationships wherever you can. Befriending the right people can ensure that your pitches do not fall on deaf ears.
Are you making the right first impression? Discuss in the comments section below!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/7cheaptactics.html