Improving your first impression

What Is First Contact, and Why Is It Important?

First Contact is the point at which you first encounter someone that you have not met. Whether it's on a personal level or in business, first contact is the moment that the critical first impression is made.

How many times have you heard that the first impression is the strongest impression?

What kind of first impression do you make?

A good first impression will pave the way for successful interaction with others; five points of "service awareness" (perception of customer's needs or concerns) come into play.)

Being aware of these five points of basic service awareness can help position you for success in your interactions. What are they? They are: Eye Contact; Acknowledgment; Greeting; Listening; and Exchanging.

Eye Contact: Let's someone know that you are ready to connect.

Acknowledgment: Your first acknowledgment of another person is non-verbal; your body will start talking before your mouth does.

Greeting: What comes out of your mouth will match your body language.

Listening: If you don't listen to what the other person is saying, you will default to talking about yourself--and that will not position you for a successful initial exchange.

Exchanging: How you respond to someone goes a long way toward a successful exchange. This part of the conversation is based on how well you listen.

These five points of service awareness may seem simple, but whether you are just meeting new people or looking to conduct business, ignoring them can put you at a disadvantage. Let's make sure that doesn't happen to you.

Frank Gomez, Founder and CEO of First Contact. Frank Gomez has over three decades of service experience ranging from the front lines to the boardroom in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Prior to starting First Contact, he served as a program manager for the American Bible Society in New York City.