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<b>How to Lose a Sale in Two Seconds</b>
Harvard psychologist and Professor Dr. Nalini Ambady found that people start making accurate decisions about you in less than two seconds. “You better master the first few seconds,” she warns. Let’s take a second to see which first two seconds may impact your career.
Your handshake. Does it say you’re strong and confident? Or weak and timid? Are you domineering or submissive? Or, are you trying a con?
Your eyes. Are they steady and confident? Do they dart instead of focus? Do they show boredom, fear or suspicion?
How do you walk? Do you stride like the winner on the red carpet, or do you shuffle off to Buffalo? Are you a man on a mission, or lost in space? When people see you approaching their home or office, will they run to greet you or refuse to answer the knock?
Your clothes. People make decisions during your approach. Your look shouts at them before your words can form. Would you do business with someone dressed like you? Do they appeal or repel? Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, Reading People, said that one of the first things women look for when meeting a man is his shoes…are they polished? No? What’s the message from Mars to Venus?
Personal appearance. It’s fun to be different. Purple hair. Multiple pierced body parts. But what if this holey purple people eater was your doctor? Still feel confident in the diagnosis? For some occupations (entertainers, circus acts) the weird is the norm. But does your job really require 45 people to pile out of a Mini Cooper wearing greasepaint?
Time management. If you don’t show up for an appointment on time or fail to return a phone call or forget to send the information you promised, are you dependable?
How do you relate to others? If you walk into an office and see the Devil wearing Prada, or co-workers whispering innuendos, are you comfortable? Have we forgotten the lesson our children have taught us? Little eyes are always prying, mimicking, and repeating. Would you like to see that on the 6 o’clock news?
Do you always need to be “up” for the first two seconds? Of course not. We’re allowed to have “down” time, to relax, to dress, to act, and to say things we wouldn’t normally do in a business environment. Let the situation and environment dictate your actions; but use your God given common sense.
Just don’t let these first two seconds be your last first impression that survive you when you’re gone.
© 2006 Jerry Hocutt, Hocutt & Associates, Inc. Download your FREE ebook, Creating Sales Opportunities – Five Proven Ways, and get a FREE 30-day trial of the D-I-Y Sales & Marketing Email Postcards™ at http://www.YouveGotContacts.com. For many more sales & marketing tips, visit our blog at http://footinthedoor.typepad.com.
About the Author: I’ve Been Compared to David Letterman. My mission: to help Salesknockers™ (the rare and seldom seen business person or salesperson who creates their own opportunities) succeed. I’ve trained over 150,000 people in business since 1992 through our nationally acclaimed Cold Calling for Cowards® seminars. (“He’s the Zen Master of Cold Calls” – Los Angeles Times.) I’ve been compared to David Letterman by the New Brunswick (NJ) Star-Ledger (“Lord of the Rings”). “Okay, so he’s not David Letterman.” (I didn’t say it was flattering. Just that I’ve been compared to him.)