Ways to Make A Great First Impression On Anyone

You only get one chance to make a great first impression. No one will remember you, or pay you much attention if your first impression is so unmemorable. But there are many different ways to make sure you make a powerful, memorable first impression, and we’re going to look at four of the most effective methods.

Making A Great Impression

1. Prepare your elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is how you describe what you do for a living in a short amount of time, usually about thirty seconds. It’s called an elevator pitch because 30 seconds is the amount of time you will normally have to wait for an elevator. During that time it’s important that you can sum up what you do and how you do it. This is also useful in social situations when meeting people for the first time.

Along with your business card this is the most important way of getting your message across if you network with other business people.

When starting a new business your main marketing tool is … YOU! By speaking and meeting people to them you are going to spread awareness of your business. When I first started working for myself, I had never heard of an elevator pitch or a 30 second story.

If someone asked me what I did I would undermine the importance of my business and be quite vague. This was because I was afraid of what other people would think and also because I hadn’t developed enough confidence in myself.
You don’t have to be starting or own your own business to benefit from having an elevator pitch. Write a thirty second script that you would say to someone when you meet them for the first time. Learning this off by heart can help you make a really good first impression.

It’s very important that you deliver it with confidence as you won’t be saying it again to that particular person.
Since I developed my elevator pitch I have stopped sabotaging myself through introductions where I appeared nervous and lacking self-belief. Knowing my elevator speech well allows me to introduce myself with confidence and clarity and describe concisely what I do. You have to look as if you believe in yourself, and sound as if you believe in yourself, to enable others to believe in you too! You need to make it easy for them to connect with you.

2. Speak for Yourself
Sometimes you will be introduced to someone and the person who is making the introduction will do all the talking. Smile and say Hi if you are anxious or nervous then it is much easier to just stand there. In my own experience, I found that people don’t remember you if you don’t say anything and let the other person do all the talking. Speak for yourself.

After you have been introduced, make an effort to engage with that person with a question, for example, ‘do you come to these functions regularly?’ or give them some information about yourself. Try to ask open questions, beginning with ‘how do you …’ or ‘what do you feel about …’ When you really can’t think of anything to say, find something in common, or if you know a little about them, then use it to your advantage, for example ‘Jim tells me you were born in Hawaii, what was growing up there like?’.
Remember, most people love to talk about themselves!

3. Treat Everyone Like The Gatekeeper To Your Destiny.

Joel Osteen, the American preacher and speaker, says that you should treat everyone like the gatekeeper to your destiny. What he means by this is that everyone you meet has the potential to change your life immeasurably and help you get to where you want to be. This is why it is vitally important to treat everyone the same and introduce yourself to as many people as possible, as you never know who will change your life for the better.

I recently met an old family friend whom I had not seen in many years. He did not recognise me and in the past I would have let my anxiety get the better of me and not said hello. These days, I am a lot more confident than I used to be, so I introduced myself and then used my elevator pitch to tell him what I am doing now.

I would have been happy with just the process of introducing myself and using my elevator pitch but the outcome of that chance meeting has been amazing and has provided me with huge opportunities. That is what I’ve found from introducing yourself well and using your elevator pitch. People will think of ways in which they can help you.
Try it out for yourself, and you will see more and more people will want to help you. Enthusiasm is infectious and people want to be a part of your success. You will also realise that there may be ways in which you can help other people and you might even be the gatekeeper to their destiny!

4. Body Language and Attitude.
These are common sense tips that you probably already know but are easy to forget about and not to put into practice. Body posture is very important when you meet someone. The human brain will pick up many signals subconsciously from a meeting in a split second to help it form an opinion of you. You want to make sure you are giving off as many positive signals as possible.

Standing up straight is the most basic but the most important. When you stand up straight with your shoulders back you are giving the signal that you are confident in yourself. You also need to speak clearly and purposefully.
Your introduction and elevator pitch will have no impact if you look and mumble at the person’s shoes or over their shoulder. Always look people in the eyes. If you find this difficult then look at people’s eyebrows as they will think you are looking into their eyes. Make sure you smile throughout your meeting. Happiness and enthusiasm are attractive and infectious.

If you are anxious or nervous then meeting people may be difficult for you. It will help you immensely to control your breathing. Take slow deep breaths, this will help you to remain calm and be confident. Say to yourself “I’m calm and relaxed; I want to share who I am and what I do with others”.
If you believe in yourself and seem confident, genuinely interested and enthusiastic in the other person, then you will make a great first impression. Some people may not like you for reasons that are beyond your control, perhaps you remind them of someone or they are just simply having a bad day. If you have negative responses, don’t let this affect you. You are only in control of your own actions and thoughts. The outcomes of your meetings are out of your control so focus on the process!

The majority of the first meetings will be great and you will begin to attract new people into your life who want to help you and be friends with you.

Then it’s best to carry them around with you everywhere you go as you never know who you could meet, if you have business cards. Having a case is important to keep them in good condition. I’m not suggesting you give them out like confetti to everyone, but it’s important to have some to hand to give to the people who are interested or you think could make a difference to your business.

If you find introducing yourself difficult or you want to improve your first impression then a great way to do it is to practice. Go to a place where you can introduce yourself to someone. A networking event is a great place to meet lots of new people.

If you haven’t got an event coming up soon, practice by introducing yourself to the person serving you in the supermarket, in the bookstore, your neighbour, etc. You will learn something from every interaction especially the ones that are less than perfect.

I hope these tips will enable you to be your authentic, positive, confident self when meeting people and make memorable impressions at every opportunity.

By speaking and meeting people to them you are going to spread awareness of your business. In my own experience, I found that people don’t remember you if you don’t say anything and let the other person do all the talking. If you are nervous or anxious then meeting people may be difficult for you. I’m not suggesting you give them out like confetti to everyone, but it’s important to have some to hand to give to the people who are interested or you think could make a difference to your business.
A networking event is a great place to meet lots of new people.

Color Mindset To Give Your Business An Edge

wheelWhether you’re wondering what color to paint the office, or you’re looking to redesign your retail space, the colors you choose can increase your chance of reaching your goals. Color greatly influences human emotion and behavior. If you’re hoping to make your workers more productive, or you want to encourage shoppers to spend money, understanding the basics of color psychology can help you design a space that will maximize your potential.

I interviewed Sally Augustin, Ph.D., to find out more about color mindset. Augustin is an environmental psychologist and internationally recognized expert on person-centered design. Augustin operates Design With Science, where she teaches businesses and individuals how to use color to their advantage.
Change People’s Perception of Temperature

The color of a wall can actually change how a person perceives the temperature, according to Augustin. Warm colors, such as orange, red and yellow can cause people to think the temperature in the room is warmer than it actually is. Cool colors, such as blue, green and light purple cause people to estimate the temperature is colder.
Business owners can use this to their advantage by saving on heating and cooling costs. If you live in a cold environment, painting an entryway a warm color may cause people to think your establishment is a few degrees warmer than actually is. This may allow you to keep the temperature at a slightly lower setting.
Evoke Emotional Responses

Augustin states that color evokes similar emotional responses in most people. There aren’t always universal truths about color. People of different cultures may have different thoughts and emotions about certain colors. A person’s past experience can affect feelings about a certain color. Augustin notes that she dislikes a particular shade of blue for example, because it reminds her of an allergy medicine she had to take as a child. Despite the exceptions, there are some basic generalities about how certain colors evoke specific emotional and behavioral responses.
Green Sparks Creativity

Research has linked green with broader thinking and more creative thought. People generally like green. “There seems to be a positive association between nature and regrowth,” notes Augustin. So if you want your employees to be more productive, consider painting work areas green.
Red Reduces Analytical Thinking

There’s a reason why red sports cars cost more to insure. When humans see the color red, their reactions become faster and more forceful. However, that boost of energy is likely to be short-lived and ultimately, red reduces analytical thinking. Augustin cites research conducted by Andrew Elliot, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, that shows athletes are more likely to lose when they compete against an opponent wearing red and students exposed to red before a test are likely to perform worse.

The research indicates that red can be helpful if you’re trying to attract a mate, it isn’t helpful if you need to stay on task. One possible reason why red makes it hard to concentrate, may be tied to a cultural-specific issue, says Augustin. Those of us who got a lot of answers wrong as children, may associate the color red with the red ink our teachers used to mark up our papers.
Blue is Most Accepted

When asked what their favorite color is, the most common answer around the world is blue. This may be because when our ancestors used to see blue– like a clear blue sky or a watering hole– it was a good sign, according to Augustin. Painting a common area of an office building blue is likely to satisfy the majority of people.
Yellow isn’t Usually a Hit

Avoid painting public spaces yellow because most people aren’t a fan of the color. However, the people who do like yellow, seem to have a huge preference for it, whereas most people only slightly favor one color over another. Overall, yellow remains the least likely favorite color for most people, so pick a different color if you want to appeal to the masses.

Orange is Associated with Good Value
People associate the color orange with a good value. The orange color in the Home Depot HD +0.00 % logo for example, helps customers view them as a low cost provider of valuable goods. Some high-end retailers have been able to overcome this association with orange and they’ve successfully incorporated orange into their brand.
Pink Calms People Down

There’s an explanation some sports teams paint the opposing team’s locker room pink– it’s known for draining people of their energy. Baker-Miller pink (the same color of Pepto-Bismol) calms people down for about 30 minutes, according to Augustin. They’re often able to remain in a calm state once people have remained calm for that time frame. This could be a great color for lawyers who are conducting mediation or a board room where conversations may get heated.

White May Lead to Boredom

White has a modern appeal. Apple AAPL +0.83 %, for example, has used white to brand their clean, sleek look. Too much of a monochromatic look can cause people to reflect on their own thoughts, warns Augustin. A person shopping in a monochromatic store may become distracted from the task at-hand when their mind begins to wander because of the lack of stimulation.

Changing Colors

One of the best things about color is that you can change wall color often. Think carefully before you paint your space about how you want people to feel and perform. Although the wall color can’t perform miracles, it can certainly give you a boost in the right direction.

Whether you’re wondering what color to paint the office, or you’re looking to redesign your retail space, the colors you choose can increase your chance of reaching your goals. Warm colors, such as orange, yellow and red can cause people to think the temperature in the room is warmer than it actually is. The people who do like yellow, seem to have a huge preference for it, whereas most people only slightly favor one color over another. Overall, yellow remains the least likely favorite color for most people, so pick a different color if you want to appeal to the masses.
One of the best things about color is that you can change wall color often.

Benefits of Investing Your Money In Real Estate

As entrepreneurs find success with their primary business ventures, many search for the proper investments for their profits.
Of course, we can and should all start traditional tax preferred vehicles like an IRA and 401k. These are the bedrock of good ‘benefit’ planning for ourselves and our employees. I’m also convinced more entrepreneurs should consider rental real estate as an important part of their portfolio.

I realize many business owners shrug off this concept after the recent downturn in real estate values, but let me list a few reasons that may change your mind:
1. Gain more leverage. Real estate is one of the few investment vehicles where using the bank’s money couldn’t be easier. The ability to make a down payment, leverage your capital, and thus increase your overall return on investment is incredible.

2. Increase, tax-free. Buying rental property based on speculation of its value is a dangerous tactic since cash flow is the key. Appreciation over the long-run is certainly realistic and at the least you should be considering a tax-deferred strategy. In the future, you may even consider a 1031 exchange, charitable trust, or an installment sale to lesson your tax liability further.

3. Tax free cash flow. It’s no secret that because of depreciation and mortgage interest deductions (if you leverage your capital), your cash flow should be tax-free. That’s right! The far majority of the time an investor will never pay taxes on their cash flow and can wait for capital gains on the sale of the property in the future.

4. The tax write-offs against your other income. Depending on your classification as an Active Investor or Real Estate Professional and your income level, there is a good chance your rental property will not only give you tax-free cash flow, but an overage of tax deductions you can use against your other income. With that said, this is something you want to discuss with your tax professional before investing so your expectations are realistic.

5. Increased tax deduction strategies. Rental property affords investors with another incredible opportunity to convert personal expenses to potentially valid business deductions. Don’t forget that rental real estate is a business. This means that travel expenses to check on your payments and properties to family members who manage your properties (such as students away at college) can be deductible and increase the tax benefits when it comes to cash flow and the future sale of the property.

6. Rental real estate is a forced retirement plan. Americans are terrible savers. We lack the self-discipline to put a monthly deposit into our IRA, SEP or 401k as small-business owners. However, buying a rental property is a significant commitment that you are required to commit to and maintain. When you don’t give up on it and build future cash flow and wealth, you will always be grateful in the long-run.

I meet with a lot of successful entrepreneurs, and almost every one of them has taken profits from their businesses over the years to invest in rental property. Based on this fact and the list above, I have consistently urged my clients to buy one rental property a year and already have clients with rental properties earning them money they never imagined they ‘d have.

The far majority of us will never get rich overnight. It takes long-term investing and a diverse portfolio to build true wealth. Don’t forget real estate as an important part of the equation.

I’m also convinced more entrepreneurs should consider rental real estate as an important part of their portfolio.

Buying rental property based on speculation of its value is a dangerous tactic since cash flow is the key. Depending on your classification as an Active Investor or Real Estate Professional and your income level, there is a good chance your rental property will not only give you tax-free cash flow, but an overage of tax deductions you can use against your other income. Don’t forget that rental real estate is a business. This means that travel expenses to check on your payments and properties to family members who manage your properties (such as students away at college) can be deductible and increase the tax benefits when it comes to cash flow and the future sale of the property.