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We’ve all heard “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Albeit true, if you start off on the wrong foot with a business relation, with your client or with an interviewer or recruiter, is there no recovery? Are you doomed to fail? What about the last impression, does it count? Can it influence your authority building process?
Let me share with you a short story.
A few years ago, I went with my colleague on a business trip to India. We had a lot of great meetings scheduled for us. But something was different in this business trip.
We had a lot of interesting meetings. The atmosphere was good, the people were friendly and we got to talk about the reason we were there and on interesting business opportunities.
But every time when the meeting ended and we stood up to leave the meeting room, and thank our host, I felt something had changed. I could feel that the atmosphere twisted in a split of a second.
What was it?
I noticed that my colleague way of saying goodbye to the others was almost insulting. It was cold, showed no real care and interest and felt like he really wanted to leave the room.
He muttered a quick “Bye-bye” and left. He could just as well be saying, “Buzz off!”. He was so warm at first and now…nothing.
I say that it felt, because I know it was not his intention.
No wonder, that this last behaviour stayed in the mind of the others and influenced the decision-making process of them. That was the moment, I realised the real power of ‘last impression’ while building your authority and relationships.
There are countless studies on the science of building relationships that show that other people form their impression of you within the first 30 seconds of meeting you.
But, you don’t have to be a total hostage to the first impression counts phenomena, as you have a second chance to make a stronger and longer lasting impression at the end of the business meeting (or an interview).
Similarly, a study by Luchins showed that: the information presented last was more influential than information presented at the beginning (primacy, recency effect).
In psychology, last impressions are referred to as the Recency Effect. Essentially the last things we see or hear when we depart from a person tend to be the the most powerful memories that come back to us when we encounter that person again, or when we think about them.
If those last impressions are positive, our recollections will be more positive, even if our experiences up to that point are not.
For example, let’s say that you encounter a not so friendly receptionist at an hotel, but as you leave the hotel manager shakes your hand, smiles, and warmly thanks you for your business, you will remember the manager’s warmth more than the receptionist’s chill when you think about your stay at this hotel.
The importance of last impressions should be obvious. They have the potential to undo all the hard work you’ve put into creating a positive authority and image.
It actually proved that your opening statements in a business meeting are important in the short term but after a period of time what you presented last is most important for building the relationships and more importantly building your authority.
This means that although first impressions do count, last impressions are more important in the long term.
Did you ever asked yourself how do some people succeed faster in building relationships than others? Why do some get business opportunities and others don’t? Why do some get stuck in the growth of their business or their careers?
The answer, I’ve found, to all of these questions (at least partly) is making a lasting impression. This last impression is definitely a part of your personal brand.
During my law school studies we learned about “The Von Restorff effect” (named after psychiatrist and children’s paediatrician Hedwig von Restorff), also called the isolation effect. Prof. Von Restorff proved scientifically that the last item on a list has a long lasting effect.
This is the same principle (known tactic) used by litigation lawyers (trial lawyers for my US friends). They save their most powerful argument for last and create a very powerful lasting impression.
Also as an international speaker myself - you use the same principle in your keynote. You come up with a perfect finale to your keynote presentation – one to bring the audience to applaud you and even give you a standing ovation. Powerful last impression!
The same apply in building business relationships & your authority.
If you consistently make a positive, memorable (genuine!) impact on your business relationships and clients and even your employees, you’ll increase your chances of getting involved in the best opportunities when they come knocking on your door.
You need to verbalise your delight when you end a business meeting is even better. Don’t leave it to chance. Use it in a networking meeting, on the phone and even in your emails.
Yes, I agree it is not so simple as It may sound. You really need to take a strategic approach in leaving that lasting impression.
So to help you out, here are five tips that’ll help you make your mark, enhance your connections with your business relations and be remembered over anyone else in the room:
1. Be Authentic
You need to stop fearing from being judged by other in business relations.
If you be authentic, be yourself, and don’t be caught up in trying to impress others, it will improve significantly your sincerity and your last impression.
2. Be people oriented
For years I disliked the approach in the corporate world – you need to make sure the higher-ups in the organisation know about your achievements, in order to get promoted.
No wonder why so many ‘political’ characters and non-authentic people were promoted to a higher positions before me in the organizations I used to work.
But this approach is never sustainable because it lacks authenticity.
Now, I definitely understand and know that what really counts is your authenticity and true will to help others. In the long run, that is the reason why people want to remember you for and want to see you succeed.
3. Be Empowering, Energising and Enlightening
Do other people feel energised after meeting with you—or exhausted?
Are you an easy person to speak with? Do you give the person with whom you’re speaking undivided attention? Are you leaving conversations and business meetings making others feel empowered, motivated, and energised?
In my corporate career and also when I was in senior positions, I always believed that positive emotion accelerates innovation.
As such, I always made (and still do) a concerted effort to leave conversations and business networking events making other people feel inspired. And they usually do.
4. Be Pressure immune
You need to start paying attention to how you handle stress and pressure and start getting comfortable with it.
Remember: your ability to nail and deal with the pressure moments will define a lasting impression on the other people.
5. Be Bright & simple
Do you know what you’re great at?
The answer to this question will give you insights and ideas how to offer solutions and bring value to discussions with others.
If you use simple language, clear and bright solutions to the other person, you’ll be always remembered. So use it as part of your last impression.
Now, that you understand the importance of the last impression in business relations, you need to go out there and practice it.
TIP: In an interesting practical article of the Young Entrepreneur Council, you can learn to make a lasting impression in Under 5 Minutes by using 14 tips shared to ensure your business card is the least likely to end up in the trash can.
First or Last Impression – Which One is Lasting?
Although the first impression is important, the last impression can be equally or even more important. In a long discussion, what you say last can be remembered even more than what you said or did at the beginning.
Between the first impression and the last impression, there are many interactions that may take place. I’m not minimizing the importance of those. They must be managed as well. But at the end, the last impression should be the final impression that creates a lasting impression that will make the other person think back and say, “I want more of that” or if it is a potential client – “I want to do business with her again.”
Honestly, they both do.
The first impression sets the tone for what lies ahead; it sets expectations. The last impression is what we’re left with; it’s probably what we’ll remember most about your brand.
You won’t get one without the other. There won’t be a last impression if you don’t get the first impression right. You know what you need to do.
Remember: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” and “always leave them wanting more.” Since First Impressions Count, but Last Impressions Count as well.
So now a question to you: What do you do to leave a last impression on your business relations? Please share your ideas and actions with me.
Want to discover more on how to build your authority in your field in a consistent basis and attract the right clients – and the steps you need to take?
Download my workbook [for free] here and answer all the relevant questions or schedule a strategy call here.
If you have any specific questions with regards to building your authority position and your personal brand or need our help in building your authority position and attract more of the right clients consistently, please send us an e-mail and share it with us. We definitely can help!
Make your LAST impressions LASTING!
About the Author
Itzik Amiel is considered the global leading authority on Business Development, Business Networking & Personal Branding. He is a sought-after international speaker, trainer, business mentor, & attorney-at-law. He is also the bestselling author of “The Attention Switch” & Founder of THE SWITCH®, the global community for professionals to grow their practice.
Itzik teaches Lawyers and other professionals to attract and win their ideal clients by becoming seen as authorities in their field and to SWITCH their relations to Referrals+Revenue+Results.
If you want to get in touch with Itzik and to learn how can you build your Authority in your field, you can book a free discovery session with Itzik HERE
More information: itzikamiel.com or connect with Itzik via: email@example.com