‘Well begun half done’. ‘First impression is the best impression.’ As a child, I remember my mother constantly telling me this, at the beginning of the academic year or before a recitation or storytelling contest. As I grew up, I realised it’s not only the first but also the last impression that equally matters.
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Imagine meeting a potential business partner for a face-to-face meeting for the first time. You would’ve had several discussions on Skype over the phone or on WhatsApp. However, when you initially meet the person a few initial glitches may occur. Something you couldn’t control. But by the end of the discussion, you get comfortable and end the meeting on a good note. Chances are that the potential business partner takes away the last impression you have made and doesn’t even remember the first. The same applies to several aspects of life. Be it an interview, a job, a relationship, or just a simple get-together, the impression we make at the end can be the lasting impression.
When you switch jobs or organisations, you might think it’s the end and you won’t be returning again. But that’s far from the truth. Always exit with pleasant memories both for you as well as the organisation and team you worked with. It will all come back to you someday. The contacts and references you build will go a long way in helping you out later. Who knows? You might even find others who have made the jump to the same company you’ve joined. Word may spread about how good a team player or employee you are.
A lasting impression is particularly important in customer experience roles. Imagine during a call a customer finally doesn’t want to purchase your product after long hours of convincing and negotiation. What should the customer care executive do? Get annoyed and just hang up? No. He or she should thank the customer in a courteous answer and end the conversation with a pleasant line stating to hear from them soon. Although the customer wouldn’t want to purchase anything immediately, he or she might consider coming back later or even referring the product to a friend.
When you attend a meeting or an interview remember to leave some interesting piece of information for the end. It might even be in the form of a question. Always be yourself and do not think you are hostage to what you said at the beginning. Also be precise. Ask questions and appear to be interested in conversations. No one appreciates anyone who comes for a meeting just for the sake of it. Since you are there, make your presence felt along with making others feel good as well.
Finally, the point is the first impression is very crucial. It is the stepping stone to what will be build further. But the lasting impression is what decides the final verdict. So think carefully so as to let both work hand in hand.