Impressions. Best Impressions. Manners.

by Jen Gluckow


When you meet someone new, you immediately make a judgment about who you THINK they are, and whether or not you want to continue conversation with them.

WAKE UP! The other person is making that same judgment about you.

That judgment, also known as a first impression, is based on whether or not you perceive them to be OK or safe.

As the conversation continues, you begin to investigate and judge the characteristics of the other person. Are they honest, trustworthy, intelligent, likeable, confident, happy? Are they negative or positive?

Are they someone you want to continue to listen to and/or confide in? Are they someone you would be excited to introduce to others? Are they someone you want to help or someone who can help you? Are they someone you seem to like?

You (and I) make impressions all the time. The question is, do you make your BEST IMPRESSION? Your impressions affect whether or not your prospect will call again, and whether or not they will buy from you.

Many of the impressions you make are shaped by your manners.

Heres how your social manners AND your sales manners relate to your sales success as the interaction continues

First Look.

When you meet someone, whether its for the first time or the tenth time, your first look determines their first impression. Style, smile, firmness of handshake, and your appearance what you look like and how you greet will determine the mood of the conversation as it progresses.

RULE: Take a selfie before you arrive and ask yourself, Is this the person I would love to meet?

Manners and Mannerisms Table Manners

Even before you start to eat, your manners show as evidently as a hole in your shirt or a wrinkled tie. How you drink, how you order, how you eat, how you talk with your mouth full or empty, shows a lot about how you were raised socially, or who you have become. When youre trying to make a first impression, your manners expose you for the type of person that youre likely to be. In my experience, women are more conscious of their manners than men, and more conscious of mens manners than men are of womens manners. I am not trying to brand an entire gender, but Im damn close.

As the meal progresses, personalities become more revealed. A second drink? A third drink? Not appropriate on any date business or personal. Its yet another indicator of what an extended relationship will look like. Elbows on the table? Chew with your mouth open? What are you thinking? Your mother would slap you!

RULE: Fork you if you cant recall and execute table manners that your mom would be proud of.

Phone Manners

Phone manners are evident for minutes, while table manners are only evident for a matter of seconds. The next time youre in a face-to-face meeting, or at a meal, pay attention to phone manners. Do they take a call or put their phone away? The act of texting or chatting on the phone, in your presence, shows their respect factor.

RULE: If youre expecting a call, tell your customer or prospect in advance and ask for permission. This way, theres no surprises.

Conversation Manners

Wheres the common ground? Find it. How interested is the other person in you vs. how interested are they in telling you their boring story? How much do you really need to know about them and their drama vs. how much are they telling you? 75 % of what you say or ask should be an interactive conversation rather than a 1-sided story. A dialogue, not a monologue.

RULE: Ask more questions than you make statements. Ask a question rather than tell a story.

OMG They Didnt Call

Its been 24 hours. No call, no text. Did they have a good time? Did they like me? Will we do business together? OMG they didnt call is a report card, not a situation.

In the same fashion that this scenario drives YOU insane, the same questions come into the minds of clients. After the gain their attraction by making your BEST impression, you must engage. Follow-up with an email, thank them for their time, and outline the past conversation with steps to move forward. The best dates end with a next date already scheduled, as should your sales meetings.

If you court clients in the same fashion that you would want to be treated in a new relationship, you will be known as courteous, trustworthy, and capable of earning their business. The fate of a relationship is not about what the other guy said or didnt say; its about what you said, what you did, and how you acted. And the more you take responsibility for your actions, the more likely you are to be rewarded either personally or in business. You choose whether you win or lose.


With co-host Jeffrey Gitomer, we bring in top sales professionals to give you the best advice to kick your own ass.