At a chamber of commerce mixer recently, one of the other attendees and I found ourselves in a heated conversation about the importance of first impressions.
He was adamant making a good first impression is the single-most important thing a business should do. I responded by saying I thought first impressions were not nearly as important as lasting impressions.
I shared a story of walking into a restaurant in New York City with a group of friends, looking around at the incredible decor, taking in some incredible aromas, and being greeted and seated courteously and efficiently by the maître d’.
It was a great first impression and we were off to a great start. None of us could have hoped for more. At that point, I absolutely would have raved about it.
I’m sympathetic that eight people at a table in a crowded restaurant doesn’t make life easy for any waiter or waitress. But she carefully took notes and disappeared.
When the food finally arrived, practically all the special requests had been ignored. Plus, many entrées were either overcooked or undercooked. Trying to get the situation corrected was no easy task.
The bottom line to this story is only one person at the table had a meal they felt was above standard. The rest of us were doing more complaining than smiling.
The point is what brings consumers back to a restaurant or to any other business establishment is not the first impression the restaurant or business makes. It’s the lasting impression –– the exceptional experience we take with us when we leave.
It’s the lasting impression that either encourages us to return and contribute more of our hard-earned money to the establishment or to cross it off our list of places to patronize again.
As you read How to Close More Business in Less Time and begin working through your ideal sales process, remember every extraordinary lasting impression begins with an equally extraordinary first impression.