Creating good first impressions

Making a strong first impression will help you develop customer relationships and make sales. From the moment you approach a customer, your behaviour, attitude and personal presentation will influence your customer's decision to buy.

Meeting and greeting

Your customer will make early decisions about you – and how much time they'll give you – based on your appearance, your body language and mannerisms, your tone of voice and facial expressions, your words, and your demeanour. Here are some useful first-impression tips:

  • Make eye contact.
  • Give a nice, warm smile.
  • Open with a sincere, friendly greeting.
  • Pay attention to the customer - not to the product, your stock or a colleague.
  • Greet the customer and ask a useful opening question. For example, 'Good afternoon. Can I help you find our sale items?'
  • Never ignore the customer.
  • Show the customer that they have your willing, undivided attention.

Personal presentation

Your appearance shows your customer that you respect them, your business and your products and services. Here are some useful personal presentation tips:

  • Be sure your posture is straight, confident and relaxed.
  • Don't distract your customer with personal fidgeting and adjustments or by handling stock while you're talking to them.
  • Dress to impress – take care over your choice of dress, and tailor your wardrobe, and make-up, to appeal to your customer base.
  • Make sure your hair and nails are well-groomed.

Positive attitude

There are many things affecting your business that you can't control. Your personal attitude is something you can control.

Your attitude affects the way you approach people and events in business. Choosing to approach potential customers positively, confidently, enthusiastically and with a helpful attitude – even when you're tired, stressed or frustrated – will improve your sales performance and grow your sales.

Remember that every business exists to meet customers' needs. If you believe your job is to understand and solve the customer’s problems, then you will exude a natural, helpful confidence.

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