Posts Tagged ‘first impression’



Your First Impression Matters

“You never get a second chance at a first impression,” sounds like a tired cliche  your mother used to get you to comb your hair as a teenager. But I must say that, too often, professionals lose big when they discount the value of a strong first impression. We all have heard someone say: “he was not what I expected,” or “I imagined her being different.” Often these comments translate into “he did not look like he had his act together,” or “I expected her to be more professional.” Before you call me shallow and too focused on the veneer of human existence, hear me on this one. I agree we are so much more than the sum total of how we look and dress like. I get that. But no matter how hard we try to get people we meet to see the real us, we will be categorized…

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Why Your Organization’s First Impression Matters

First impressions matter, whether you like it or not. They matter not only on a personal level but also on a business and even more so when it comes to a church. Our first impression of a business, store or venue sets our expectations for the type of product or experience we perceive we are about to get. The implications of your first impression are huge.  Starting at a deficit. If you don’t “present well” someone’s first encounter with your organization, then you will automatically go into a “deficit” standing. Starting here means you have to work harder to overcome the initial perception of your product, whether it be consumer goods, services or an experience. Basically you’re saying, “we’re better than what you think we are” and then you’ll need to spend time and equity to get your audience to see in a better light. Unfortunately, you often do not…

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My Bad Parking Lot Experience: Why First Impressions Matter

It’s hard to overcome a negative first impression. Your first gut reaction about a church, a business or even a person,  will determine how you feel about that institution or individual for a long time.  A while back I visited a well-known, fast growing congregation in Florida. I was not doing a secret shopper visit or a communication audit (some might find it shocking that I attend church without getting paid for), but I felt compelled to share with a staff member some of my impressions, specifically my run in with a parking lot attendant. I was cutting it close to get to the church by 8:30 for their first Sunday morning service. As I tried to follow the serpentine of cones that led me around the back of the property and again back to the front, I realized that the cones were not there for the sake of the…

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What Volunteers Can Do that Preachers Can’t

It’s easy for me to see what needs to be fixed in the churches I visit. I hate to admit it, but I’m a critic. I’d like to think that I’m a nice one, but I’m a critic nonetheless. After all, people don’t pay me to pat them on the back and tell them good job. Church leaders want to know what’s not working well and what can be done to be more effective for the kingdom. However, my favorite part of any secret shopper visit is to celebrate what’s done well. And nothing makes my heart happier than when I run into volunteers who love God and serve their church with a smile and open arms. This past weekend I was able to reconnect with two of the best volunteers I’ve ever encountered in all my secret shopper visits. Linda and her husband Harrod have been greeting at First…

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