Understanding how to create an impression that stands out is the way to close the sale in 10 seconds or less.

Actually, great sales people can do it even faster IF they make a great first impression!  Less than 10 seconds is the time it takes to make your customer connect with you and it can make or break what happens next: sale or no sale.

Remember the old saying: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Such a true statement!  You can bet that if you make a great impression, your potential client will be more likely to do business with you than over your competitor.

Whether your initial meeting is face-to-face, on the phone or on the internet, you have no time to waste.  Understanding how to create an impression that stands out is the way to close the sale in 10 seconds or less.  Here is what that means….

1. How people form their first opinion.

When you meet someone face-to-face, 93% of how you are judged is based on non-verbal cues, your appearance and body language. Only 7% is influenced by the words that you speak. When your initial meeting is over the phone, 70% of how you are perceived is based on your tone of voice and 30% on your words.

2. Use the other person’s name immediately.

Another old saying is: There is no sweeter sound than that of our own name. When you use your customers name in the conversation right away, you are sending a message that you value, appreciate and are focused on them.

3. Arrive on time.

Never be late for a scheduled appointment. If you’re unavoidably delayed, be sure to call before your appointment.  If you are on time, you are late.

4. What your clothes say.

Project a professional appearance from head to your toe. If your clothes are not maintained, your customer will wonder whether you pay attention to other details. Clothes should be clean, crisp and appropriate for the business environment. Clothes are the FIRST thing a customer sees and the FIRST thing a customer forms an opinion on.

5. Keep your movements sharp and quick.

Studies show that people who have a spring in their step and talk slightly faster than others are viewed as important and energetic – just the kind of person your customers want to do business with. Walk and talk with purpose if you want to impress.

6. Practice your handshake.

The first move you should make when meeting your prospective customer is to put out your hand and offer a firm handshake. NEVER offer a limp hand to the client.  An impressive grip is a strong way to communicate that you are a serious salesperson.

7. Match your body language to your verbal language.

A bright smile and a pleasant face tells your clients that you are glad to be with them. Eye contact says you are paying attention and are listening in what is being said. Leaning in toward the client makes you appear engaged and involved in the conversation.   I have my own saying:  It is better to be interested than interesting.   Listen to your customer rather than just hear yourself talk.

It is critical for salespeople to understand the impact that a first impression has in building a successful sales career.  A business relationship starts or ends with the very first impression.

About the author

Liz Wendling

Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant,…

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