It’s been said, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”  In sales, you can triple the importance of making a positive first impression.  How you look and what you say creates a lasting first impression.

How do you get your prospects and customers to see you as a credible, trustworthy, and professional sales representative during your first sales call?

First, a quick story to help make the point.

Have you ever seen an ice sculptor at work?

Imagine this scene and setting.

Photo by Alexandre Mattos on

You’re going to a breakfast buffet on a cruise ship.  As you stand in line you notice a man with a white beret and chef’s apron hovering over two huge blocks of ice.  As you move forward through the mountains of food on the buffet line you see the sculptor chipping away at the ice.

You and your spouse find a table not too far away from the ice sculpture.

When he’s finished, you’re amazed to see what has been sculpted from the two large blocks of ice.

It was a hippopotamus.

You couldn’t help but hear what someone asked as he approached the ice sculptor.

“That’s beautiful – how did you ever do that?”

The sculptor responded, “It was easy, I simply chipped away everything that didn’t look like a hippopotamus.”

Now back to the original question.  The answer is for you to chip away at everything that doesn’t make you credible, trustworthy, and professional.

For example:

Don’t begin your sales call the way your competitors do.

Don’t talk too much.

Don’t ask closed-ended sales questions.

Don’t say you can save them time and money.

Don’t show up without written sales call objectives.

Don’t lower your price without asking for something in return.

Don’t ask, “How soon do you need it?”

Don’t keep blabbering until your prospect gets fidgety and says, “Your time is up.”

Don’t forget to send a handwritten thank you note.

To sum it up to you should avoid doing what your competition is doing.

First impressions are precious!

You can make your first impression, with all new sales prospects and customers, count by being better and different.

If you want to project that you’re credible, trustworthy, and professional you have to act the part and play the role.

You have to look good and sound good – and that’s a simple truth!

Author Jim Meisenheimer

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