Over the years, I have learned to let my sparkle shine but sometimes the shine is tarnished. I used to worry about what people thought – what their first impression was of me. When working in the corporate world, I dressed and acted to fit the part. When I worked in the non-profit world as a social worker, first impressions were the key to success when working with new clients. Despite how uncomfortable I was, I played a role in the hopes of making a good first impression. Sometimes it worked and sometimes they saw right through the facade.
Now I have my own business and I am so grateful the business world is more relaxed because it really fits my style. Even though I find most people will accept you for your inner beauty and not the outward appearance, there are still people who make judgments based on first impressions. I love the advice of one of my favorite business coaches – Vanessa Coppes:
Being the kind of person YOU want to do business with is a karmic synergy. You’ll be more likely to attract more like-minded people to you and your business.
People who may be looking to partner, hire, or buy from you will carefully dissect you, specially if they are looking to engage and do business with you.
It’s what I am sure you’ve heard of: The KLT Factor (Know, Like, and Trust Factor).
So what do you do? Being in direct sales, I feel like I am always making a first impression – a walking billboard for my business. So, here are some things I try to keep in mind whenever I leave the house. These are my top pet peeves, what about you?
Running to the store, or out with the kids – sweatpants, yoga pants, something comfy is all okay. I mean we have lives besides our business, right? Be careful not to wear something too revealing because you will get attention, but not the kind you want. Business casual works great for meetings, home parties, networking and so much more. Not sure what “business casual” looks like for you? Find a style which suits your personality.
I tend to say I am “shabby chic” but I’m never quite sure what it means except I’m not a fashionista. I’m a jeans girl and yes, they do work 95% of the time with a nice shirt and shoes. You should pick a style that fits you and your industry. Your clothes should be clean and neat. There is a difference between intentional business casual versus someone who doesn’t wash or iron their clothes.
Are you one of those people who is addicted to your phone? I’m learning to put the phone down and walk away. Honestly, what did we do before cell phones? Yes, I do remember those days! I have always said there isn’t a purse emergency so why I am so obsessed. It is definitely one of those addictive personality traits. “Do Not Disturb” has become my friend on my phone.
Did you know if you can’t stop looking at your phone, or responding, you will send a signal you find no one more important than yourself? YIKES! Is that the impression you want to give to others? Being present in the moment has more value than you believe.
Body Language (Proverbial Eye Rolling).
This is one I have to work on CONSTANTLY! My face is an open book to what I am thinking which is not a good thing in any relationship but extremely difficult in business. Crossed arms show you are not open to what they are saying. Multi-tasking when talking to someone is just plain rude! Everyone wants to feel important and appreciated. Saying “what” or “I didn’t hear you” shows your disinterest. “Be the type of person you want to meet and take a reciprocal approach. Be the first to offer your focused attention.”
Half Full or Half Empty
I am generally a positive person. Yes, I have those days, we all do BUT when I am having one of them, I try to limit my people contact. Did you know if you always see the glass as half empty, you are projecting you are a difficult and dissatisfied human being? Who want to do business with some who is always unhappy? Change your mindset and see the glass as half full. Happiness IS a choice.
The bottom line is you want to be the type of person you want to meet. Remember the Law of Attraction….. we draw the people and business to us when we speak into the Universe. What or who are you attracting?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!