Virtual News (En)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It’s Image that Sells! First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

By Dr. Alan Rae

Buying decisions normally depend upon the first impressions of the potential buyer. The thinking that happens in a blink of an eye.

When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or visit a new website, your mind takes just a few seconds to make its judgement.

We use the word intuition to describe emotional reactions, gut feelings, thoughts and impressions that may not be rational. But what goes on in those first few seconds is perfectly rational. It's thinking that moves a little faster than the kind of deliberate, conscious decision-making that we usually associate with thinking.

In dating, we all readily admit the importance of what happens in the first instant when two people meet. But we often don’t admit to the importance of what happens in the first few seconds when someone encounters a new idea, or when we see an advertisement or website.

Selling products is just like going for a job interview or a first date. Make a good impression on potential buyers and convert the opportunity into a sale. Most buyers choose emotionally. Understanding this is vital. If you’re selling on the internet, it’s important that your website is appealing. It’s often the first and may well be the only impression prospective clients ever see.

So a good first impression gives them the confidence to buy from you or encourage them to find out more about your business. Having a good website with a clean layout tells them you're a credible and professional company.

Imagine yourself wanting to work for a particular company. You’ve finally received an interview. How do you present yourself? You wear your best outfit, go get a great haircut and walk in confidently.

Why? You want to make that first impression stand out a mile and wow the interviewer.

Our society pays lip service to the notion of gathering information and spending time weighing up the pros and cons to make a rational decision. Entire procurement procedures are put in place to make this so. But the truth is we make rapid decisions even without thinking about them.

Our brains are hardwired to take 2 and 2 and produce 5. To create accurate patterns from insufficient data. A real survival skill when you’re after a woolly mammoth with a sabre-tooth breathing down your neck.

We still do this today – time and again our first snap decisions are often the best. So make sure you stack the odds in your favour by producing a strong first impression. Because once it’s formed it’s really hard to shift it.

First impressions are Lasting impressions.

Based on some ideals of Malcolm Gladwell in Blink

About the author:
Dr Alan Rae (AI Consultants) is a dedicated marketer with an IT background. He has written many books including his recently published 1Man Brand and Market OnLine! He uses his own experience of running his own business Ai Consultants, to help small companies with e-business and marketing problems.


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