Make it or Break it With Your First Impressions

Getting out of the Austin heat in the summer is always a good thing; the work I do with my clients and others has me constantly on the road, traveling to conferences, client sites and meeting with partners. As such, I get a lot of opportunities to have “first impressions.” For example, if a client shows up prepared, tidy and on time, I’m raring to go. When someone shows up disorganized, distracted and grumbling, I think, how is this engagement going to work out?

First impressions are especially enlightening when meeting with another consultant. So often the other person is aggressive, territorial and stubborn, trying to establish a level of superiority, claim the turf and suppress anyone else’s ideas.

First impressions are the difference between getting a project off to a good start versus getting them off to a great start. First impressions also influence how long a company can maintain a relationship over time.

Fourlane’s Linn Kendziora’s points on making first impressions makes a lot of sense, both in sales, project kickoffs and even working with other consultants. Here’s her advice:

  • 1.Start by being positive, interested and friendly. It’s really not that hard.
  • 2.Show your commitment to the need by being responsive, but also setting clear boundaries.
  • 3.Actively listen. Don’t just assume you know what the problem is from the start, even if the issues are things you’ve seen before.
  • 4.Develop genuine relationships.

We aim to set good first impressions at Fourlane; after all, we want to work with you well into the future. It’s just good business.

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