First impression – long, lost friend technique

 In Body language, Facial expression

Last week, I shared Nalini Ambady’s study of how it took university students only two seconds of viewing a silent video clip of a teacher, to make judgements of the teacher that highly correlated with longer term impressions of the teacher.

Here’s an imagery technique I use with my sales presentation clients to reap the worth of those valuable two seconds of time, when you initially meet someone – so that it will positively enhance a person’s longer term impression of you.

It’s called the long, lost friend technique. Imagine that stretching out in front of you is a long corridor and in the distance you see a person you vaguely recognise.

As they come closer to you, you recognise that it is a long, lost friend – a great friend – that you haven’t seen in years. That moment of recognition will have an immediate, dramatic effect on your facial expressions. There will be a ‘lighting up’ of your entire face. There’ll be a warm, welcoming smile and your eyes will shine.

Imagine meeting and greeting your customers, clients and friends with that long lost friend facial expression . . .

Now, obviously everyone you meet is not your long, lost friend. But if you pretend that they are (and it is a type of ‘selling job’ on yourself to do this) due to your inviting, facial expressions, people will automatically be drawn to you, and want to connect with you. You’ll capture the worth of that pristine, two seconds, and you’ll plant in the person’s mind, a positive longer term impression of you.

The ‘how to’ for this blog is to trial the long, lost friend technique with customers, clients and friends you meet – and if it pays off for you, start practising it, intentionally, on a daily basis. 


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