The saying goes that you have one chance to make a great first impression and with customers being distracted and having more choices than dollars, first impressions are more important than ever.

I was in New York City recently and took a quick walk through Times Square. I was delighted, as retailers ranging from cosmetics purveyor Sephora to athletic retailer Foot Locker welcomed me with the warmest greetings. Even with the mass of shoppers streaming through their doors, they were upbeat, genuine and created a fantastic atmosphere that encouraged me to spend a bit more time (and money) than I normally would have been inclined to.  Even on the way out, they thanked each guest for shopping, giving a truly caring feeling, even if you hadn’t made a purchase.

While this may seem like common sense, we often forget about how important that first impression is.  Plus, we don’t always have a first interaction that involves human contact. It may be a phone system, an advertisement or a website visit that creates that first impression.

I am always in favor of honing your basic business foundation, as this is truly what lets your business succeed.  As you revisit how you make first impressions (or returning impressions), I recommend a new book written and compiled by Laurie Brown called The Greet Your Customer Manual.  It’s a great reminder about the simple things that make all of the difference.

Additionally, view the video below that I did with Fox News Live about more ways to make a great first impression.



How do you create great first impressions?  What businesses knock the first impressions (and ongoing impressions) out of the park?