A long time ago before we started our company (now 25 years old), my husband, Friedel was working for his brother in a very successful outdoor umbrella manufacturing company.
Their factory was in the industrial area of Amalgam, close to the city centre and they regularly exported containers all over the world.
My husband was in charge of managing the factory production. We had only been married a short time. I was working for a change management consultancy company, and I had to wear smart suits to do business presentations.
I tried to say to my husband in my most persuasive yet kind way, that he should dress more professionally for work. My persuasion skills were obviously not that persuasive because jeans and a t-shirt remained his work uniform.
Until one day a man sauntered into the factory where he was overseeing production. He had not entered through the main showroom but down the side access to the factory.
He looked very unkept and disheveled.
My husband – a kind gentleman – thinking that he was looking for work, said to him “I am sorry I don’t have a job for you”.
The man stiffened and stood tall.
“I am not here for a job, I am here to buy an umbrella”.
My husband never ever forgot that moment. The moment he realized first impressions DO count.
From that moment on he started dressing in nice cargo pants and shirts. Now when we go out at night, he loves wearing nice pants and very interesting shirts, often bought in different parts of the world.
By the time we started our own company he knew that first impressions were critical.
We built our whole company on the understanding of first impressions. Our showroom is beautiful, our website is inspirational, our vehicles are branded, even our verge outside is beautifully landscaped.
And I now do a keynote talk on “The Power and Psychology of First Impressions.
Whilst first impressions need to be sustained by consistency and lasting impressions, it only takes less than six seconds to form that first impression. If you want to be an entrepreneur, do not underestimate the impact and influence of first impressions.
More and more people are buying an experience not a product or even a service. We are in an attention economy where time is stretched more than ever before and discernment has become almost instantaneous. Make everything count. Every little detail. You may never get a second chance.
First impressions do count.
More than we sometimes realize.
Thank you for tribing with me.