Sales gurus have talked about the value of first impressions for decades — stand up straight, make eye contact, smile, give a firm handshake — but we have heard this advice for so long that we no longer take it as seriously as we should.
First impressions matter, but the industry has evolved. Modern sales is about much more than a handshake because a prospect’s first impression of you can happen in one of several different places.
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Before a prospect for life insurance, annuities, disability insurance or other products or services meets you in person, they might visit your website or explore your social media or call your office. A poor first impression on any of these fronts can degrade your credibility and spook the prospect.
Though giving advice today on first impressions may seem cliché, it is perhaps more important than ever. Customer choice is at an all-time high. Prospects can easily click to the next search result and collect a stack of proposals before making a decision. In this ultra-competitive landscape, advisors cannot afford to botch the first impression.
The classic wisdom of looking and behaving at your best still applies, but we have to extend that philosophy into every possible first-touch moment.
Here are the opportunities I routinely see when I get my own first impressions of advisors: