The art of making a good first impression.

First impressions count, we learn this from a very early age. Human beings work in quickfire way. Our brains take a look at someone, something or somewhere and start to make rapid subconscious decisions and judgements immediately. This is something that biologists are still nowhere near to figuring out why this is.. The main theory is that it relates to our ancestors fight or flight reflex. We needed to know in an instant if we are in danger or if we were with friends and are safe. The same is still true today centring around trust. People buy and work with people that they like and trust and the initial impression that we get from someone helps to inform this. Whether it is taking a look at how someone dresses, acts or responds to you. Many of these features are very subtle and not always picked up by the other person.

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While it might be a sad fact that we don’t spend enough time developing a relationship or suspending judgement about someone we see or meet,  the plain truth is that we do not have the time and our brains are not interested in letting us do that anyway. As a modern example think about entering an office for the first time. You might be there on business, you may be coming for a job whatever the circumstances you are entering into a new environment and the unknown. You will have some expectations and preconceptions (a whole new avenue to explore!) before you go in, but as soon as you see the place, your brain is sending you information and signals about what the eyes are relaying to it.

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So, if the reception area is open and welcoming with say some nice Reception Chairs from  companies like and the receptionist is polite and helpful, you are going to start with a view that this is a place that you like, trust and can do business with. If it is a cold dinghy affair and the receptionist is rude or officious then you might start to feel that this is not a place you feel comfortable with.

I was told a story once by a friend who worked in retail buying. He requested a salesman come and show him a line of products they were interested in. He turned up in a suit and a very loud colourful shirt. While the buyer never took on the products he remembered the salesperson above many of the others that he actually did buy from. A first impression well made.