Meeting someone who’s important to you for the first time?
Nervous? Try this.
Whether it’s a new customer, a supplier or you’re being interviewed for a job, it’s only natural that you will want to make a great first impression. There are a plethora of top tips out there for how to dress, present yourself, opening sentences, killer questions and the like but remember this.
The peak and end rule.
The science : When you have an experience (like meeting someone for the first time) it is the peak and end that is recalled to form your overall ‘rating’ of that experience. You could spend an hour with someone and a week later, if you were asked ‘how was your meeting last week’ you will base your response on the one thing you most remember (the peak) and how the interaction ended (the end).
Now, if the thing you most remember is negative, even if the rest of it went well, then you’re not exactly going to have a high estimation of how the meeting went. Conversely, if the peak moment was that when you spoke about your subject the other person was impressed, your memory will be quite different.
How you leave the interaction is also crucial. Not just how you physically leave but how you leave the other person feeling having spent time with you. If they feel good about themselves, inspired, intrigued (insert positive outcome of choice here) then their recollection is going to be good.
Turning first impressions into lasting impressions is a key part of forming relationships. As time passes, people won’t remember what you said, or what you did but they will remember how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou, paraphrased).
When meeting people, make your priority making the other person feel great – and you won’t go far wrong.
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