First impressions go a long way. One mistake, one bonehead move, and your reputation can be damaged forever.
As an affiliate marketer, creating personal relationships with the right people in the industry is imperative to your success. Sure you can do everything by yourself, but knowing other successful affiliates and key players in the industry will present a lot of new and exciting opportunities and help you grow your business a lot faster.
That is why you need to make sure that you are constantly cautious of how you present yourself. Remember that every detail counts, and everything you do will either add or detract from your first impression.
While some of the tips below may seem like common sense, you would be surprised at how many people I’ve met at various conferences and events that fell prey to two, three, sometimes even four or five of these examples.
So here are 10 things to think about before attending your next conference, event, meeting etc. to help you avoid making a bad first impression.
Having bad hygiene is one of the ultimate first impression killers, which is why it’s first on the list. Making sure that you shower, brush your teeth, wear deodorant etc, especially before a big meeting, conference, or networking event, should be a top priority. No one wants to hang around someone that smells like one of Shaquille Oneal’s socks after a basketball game, so it’s important that you make sure you are always at your freshest.
Showing a lack of confidence can be detected from across the room and is something you want to try and avoid at all costs. Things like fiddling with your hands, talking softly, and avoiding eye contact will not only make the conversation “weird”, it can also hinder your ability to take that relationship to the next level. Most people want to work with someone that gives off a confident persona (FYI there’s a difference between confidence and cockiness) and someone that believes in themselves and in their abilities. Simply put – showing a lack of confidence will equal a lack of opportunities.
Stay Clear Of “The I Disease”
Constantly talking about yourself and how awesome you are (especially when meeting someone new) is a great way to lose their interest in you, the conversation, and any hope of developing a prosperous relationship with them moving forward. Instead, focus on speaking less, listening more, and trying to learn as much as you can about the other person. When the time is right, fill them in on who you are, what you do, and how you see the two of you helping each other in the future. Be brief, don’t ramble, and remember that it takes two people to have a conversation.
Avoid Wandering Eyes Syndrome
Do you remember how you felt the last time you met someone, started talking to them, and throughout the entire conversation they were either playing on their iPhone, looking around the room, or constantly checking their watch? It’s something you will always remember about that person, and chances are, you wont ever want to do business with them again. So make sure you give each and every person you meet, your undivided attention. Trust me, it will go a long way.
Leave On A High Note
You just had a great conversation with someone you met for the first time, you exchanged contact information, and now you’re unsure if you should keep speaking with them or if it’s time to walk away and meet some new people. One way to gauge this is by the other person’s body language. It will usually tell you whether or not they want to keep talking or if they are ready to move on. So make sure you pay close attention to it, because nothing is more awkward than sticking around when the other person is ready to move on.
Don’t Be Late
This is by far one of my biggest pet peeves and I know I’m not alone here. Being late is not only a sign of disrespect, it also shows that you are irresponsible, untrustworthy, and inconsiderate of other people’s time. More often than not, this will lead to no second meeting and a loss of that potential relationship. So I leave you with a quote to remember from my 3rd grade teacher “Early is on time, On time is late, and late is unacceptable!”.
Mind Your Manners
Things like chewing with your mouth open, texting at dinner, and using foul language (depending on the situation) are all first impression killers. Not only will people take you less seriously, some will be turned off by you completely. So make sure you are always on your best behavior, especially when you meet someone for the first time. If not, you risk losing that relationship forever.
Make Sure You’re Prepared
Having a power point presentation that doesn’t work, or forgetting your business cards at a networking event can really hurt someone’s first impression of you. When developing new business relationships, most people look for someone they can trust, count on, and believe in. Showing up unprepared makes you look irresponsible and unworthy of someone else’s time.
Know Your Boundaries
Sometimes people can go a little overboard trying out “risky” humor (jokes they thought others would find funny, but in reality found extremely offensive), and by asking questions that are way too personal (especially for a first time conversation). I always suggest that you hold off on those types of questions and humor, until you’ve spent some time with that person and got a feel for their boundaries. That way you don’t put your foot in your mouth the first time you meet them.
So as you can see, there are a number of ways you can ruin your first impression with someone. Being aware of this, and making sure you always bring your A-Game is a key part of creating and developing the right relationships.
Remember – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So don’t limit the growth of your network by giving a bad first impression.