First Impressions, That Important?

Maybe you heard that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Maybe you have heard it takes 60 to 20 seconds to make a lasting impression. Well got news for you. A series of experiments from a couple of psychologist reveal that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t really alter those impressions. This concept was first presented in Psychological Science under an article called “First Impressions.”

Wild right? So the question is, how is the ‘Meet and Greet’ in your store? Of course we all know the power of the ‘Meet and Greet’ as well as this is being the most basic part of the sales process. But I wonder if we really understand the psychology of this step.

Customers are incline to follow and be impressed with someone who gives the impression of authority. Customers also trend to do business with people they like, the likability factor. It’s these two factors that is usually missing in that tenth of the second in many commission based retail environments. So if these two factors are missing, how do we insert them back into our store’s ‘Meet and Greet’?

Want to shake it up and give off that likability and authoritative image? If so, here is a short cut to use until you can dive deeper into the impression you want to your team to present.

  • Set your intentions (what image do you want to present)
  • Think about your look (does your style of dress and jewelry give off the impression of a professional expert that is successful)
  • Be aware of your body language (video tape yourself to view your habits and your body language, make changes as needed)
  • Be interested and interesting (be interested in the customer, want to know them as a person, be open to learn who they are)

Know your inventory, your specials, and what marketing the dealership is currently doing. Have a 30 second welcome prepared to use when you meet your customers either over the phone or in person. Do not make them wait, make sure the customer is not waiting on the phone to talk to someone or have to wait either on the lot or in the showroom as your team is trying to find someone to assist them.

It’s simple and yet one of the most confusing steps. There is a science and art to the ‘Meet and Greet’, get third-party feed back on your meet and greet, role play, and be excited to approach the next person.

Thank you for reading this evening’s vent. The art of the meet and greet is not dead, it is just not part of our everyday life anymore. It’s time to bring it back and in a big way. 



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