So check this out.
Recently I received an email from someone who found me on LinkedIn. The person wasn’t a connection of mine, so I had no idea who he was or where he worked.
Let’s go through some of the items on the email (indicated by red letters A-F) and how it influenced my impression of this person. I changed personally identifiable information and will call him John Doe.
A – John’s email in the “from” line is from what I call “CompanyName1.” All good so far.
B – The subject of the email is “Offer for Thensetta Group of Companies.” This seems all fine and well except my company name is “Consetta.”
C – In his signature line he identifies himself as working for “Company Name 2,” which is different from the company in his email address
D – His website is listed as “Companyname3.com,” which is different from both the company names in his email address and signature. What’s even more interesting is that the underlying URL is different from the listed company name. When I copied “Companyname3.com” into my browser I got a “Page Not Found” message. When I clicked on the hyperlink it took me to a parked webpage.
E – The portfolio in Vimeo has yet another company name which is different than all the others.
F – John tells me that if I want to stop getting emails from him I need to reply with “remove.” I presume that means to put the word “remove” in the subject line. Any reputable company uses an email service like Constant Contact or Mailchimp with a structured unsubscribe process.
Needless to say, there’s no way in heck I’m going to do business with John Doe. The first impression he left was so abysmally bad that I could never imagine entrusting him with helping me resolve a business problem.
I suspect that if you’ve been in business for any period of time you’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Despite this saying being as old as dirt, I’m amazed at how frequently I’ve seen professionals, both seasoned and newbie, create a negative perception in a first interaction. It’s even worse when, like the John Doe email, a negative first impression is earned through careless and reckless mistakes. The way John Doe bungled his first interaction with me told me volumes about what he might be to work with. While it’s entirely possible he is a competent professional, I’ll never know because he’ll never get a second chance with me.
If you think you might need some help on creating positive first impressions, give the following six tips a look before your next meeting with someone new.
Positive first impressions matter. Creating negative first impressions through carelessness or being unprepared is just shooting yourself in the foot. Take first impressions seriously and do all you can to make your first impression impressive.
Lonnie Pacelli along with his wife Patty created the Six-Word Lessons series. He is the author of Six-Word Lessons for Project Managers, Six-Word Lessons to Avoid Project Disaster, and Six-Word Lessons for Dads with Autistic Kids. See more at lonniepacelli.com.
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