By CommenceCRM

Sales Best Practice: The science of making good first impressions

A best practice for salespeople by Dave Kahle.

In a recent seminar, one of the sales people asked if I thought that creating relationships with people wasn’t just a natural ability. You either had it, or you didn’t.

I replied that building relationships with prospects and customers was a competency, just like planning and preparing, asking questions, making a presentation, etc. While it helps if you have some natural ability to start with, there are practices that are proven to promote rapport and relationship, and that the dedicated sales person learns these practices and develops them into habits. Anyone can learn to do a better job of building positive business relationships.

That is particularly true in one aspect of building relationships – creating a positive first impression. On many of these issues, there has evolved an understanding of a set of practices that are proven to produce certain results. Not only do we have the wisdom of all those who have gone before us, but we increasingly have research to support some of our observations.

I just read some research that looked at the behaviors of a sales person that, from the customer’s point of view, evoked a feeling of trust in them in their first impression. What were they?

1. The sales person’s appearance.

Your appearance registers first with the prospect. Look professional. Look competent. Look well-groomed. Look successful. Look confident.

2. Smile.

Some of this is not rocket science. Nothing takes the place of the impact that a warm and genuine smile has on the customer. Your mother was right.

3. The pace of your conversation.

Speak quickly, and the customer doesn’t trust you. Speak slowly and articulately, and the pace of your conversation evokes feelings of trust. Have you heard the expression “fast talking sales person?”

It’s not the purpose of this article to list all the proven practices for making a positive first impression. It is, however, the purpose to make the point that there are proven practices that anyone can learn and master. Anyone can learn to use those practices and become adept at creating positive first impressions.

That’s why the best excel at this. They understand the science of making good first impressions, and use specific techniques to get the relationship off to a good start.

To learn more about this best practice:

* Visit Pod#2: Building Positive Business Relationships in The Sales Resource Center ®.

* read How to Excel At Distributor Sales, Chapters 6 & 7.

* read First Steps to Success In Outside Sales, Chapter 6.

* read Take Your Sales Performance Up a Notch, Chapter 6.

* read some of the articles at

About the Author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written ten books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. Check out our Sales Resource Center for 455 sales training programs for every sales person at every level.

You may contact Dave at The DaCo Corporation, PO Box 523, Comstock Park, MI 49321, or

Copyright MMXIV by Dave Kahle

All rights reserved

Image courtesy of Ambro at