How To Create A Lasting First Impression

A psychology expert at Harvard Business School who’s been researching first impressions for several years has found out that people make on the spot judgments about other people on the basis of two questions : 1) Can I trust this guy/girl? and  2) Is he capable? This psychology guru further says that about eighty to ninety percent (80-90%) of first impressions are created from these qualities : trust and confidence. Of course, a warm, trustworthy individual who comes in strong will also draw admiration, but only after you’ve achieved trust will your strength become a gift rather than a threatening quality.

The Impact Of First Impressions In The Realm Of Entrepreneurships And Entrepreneurs  

In this business world we live in, challenged by the demands of company branding or personal branding, success of entrepreneurships and over-all personal development, it’s good to be cognizant of the fact that it only takes seconds for people (clients, suppliers, money lenders, etc.) to decide if you’re trustworthy and competent. And when you’ve made a certain impression among them, it’s like something carved in stone .. you almost can’t change it. It’s no wonder the pressure involved in meeting new people can be pretty intense. If you, for example are trying to influence somebody to try your personal brand, but if he/she doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get to first base. The thing is … if you recognize the value of trust over competence, you can actually manage and take control of the first impressions you make within your business circles.

The next time you’re set to meet important clients in a convention of business owners and entrepreneurs or in some other function, let the following tips help you make a lasting first impression.

1.  Get that positive body language working. Be aware of your tone of voice, your expressions and gestures. Make sure they’re warm and positive. Make eye contact. Be enthusiastic with your tone and lean towards the speaker. These are nuances of a positive body language that’ll help make a good, lasting impression.

2.  Get that darn cell phone out of the way! You’re not going to be able to build trust while monitoring your phone. It’s a definite turn-off when in mid conversation with somebody you’ve just met, a message or a call comes in and you’re falling all over the place answering it. When you commit to a conversation, focus your energy on it. Immerse yourself in it. 

3.  Let him be the first to talk. Give them the lead in the conversation, then, just inject a few good interesting questions to keep it going. If you immediately take the lead after introduction, you might come across as being dominating, a no-no, if you’d like to build trust. 

4.  Get into active listening. This is not about hearing what the other person is talking about. It’s about concentrating on what he/she is saying. Asking insightful questions is a great way of saying you’re really paying attention. This is sure to develop trust.

5.  Do a bit of homework. People just love it when you know something about them that they didn’t have to share. Of course, none of those lurid rumors you might have read or heard about. The simple facts (professional background, origin, college and professional affiliations, etc.) should do the trick.


A classic from the great late Nat “King” Cole “Little Things Mean a Lot” is really what creating a lasting first impression is all about. So put all these “little things” together and trust should inevitably follow.

About the Author


Del Denney has consulted for the top personal development and training organizations in the United States and has addressed thousands of people in talks and seminars throughout the United States and Canada. As a Keynote Speaker and Seminar Leader, he addresses more than 10,000 people each year.

He has studied, researched, written and spoken for over 15 years in the fields of marketing, business, branding and success psychology.

He speaks to audiences on the subjects of Personal and Professional Development. His exciting talks and seminars on Leadership, Selling, Lifestyle by Design, Entrepreneurship, Real Estate Investing, and the Psychology of Success bring about immediate changes and long-term results.

He is the CEO of Full Potential Academy a training company that focuses on personal and professional development, social media growth, and brand development.

He is the owner of a real estate business that buys, sells, and rents homes. His residential redevelopment company focuses on improving neighborhoods and redeveloping residential areas.

Del has also had successful careers in sales and marketing, investments, real estate development, and management consulting.






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