Module #1

Introduction rituals are different for each culture. However, there are elements that are common to all, such as the purpose of an introduction. In this module, we will highlight those shared common elements and we shall provide you with tips and techniques that will ensure you can easily provide a consistently great first impression, guaranteed.

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The objective of this module is three-fold. 

  • First, it is to make you fully aware of the importance of making the best possible first impression.
  • Secondly, to provide enough information and techniques to help you consistently make a positive first impression.
  • And thirdly, you will know how to conduct a greeting while taking into account the COVID-19 social distancing measures and local behaviors.

What you start here changes your world.

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The importance

There’s more than enough evidence to prove how important first impressions are – especially in sales. There are so many articles, books, online videos, and research data about the subject, and if you are skeptical – just take a look online. Most of us have heard or learned about how important first impressions are, but many of us are still not giving it the attention or effort the subject needs. 

A good or bad first impression can have a huge impact on a relationship. You might be skeptical. There’s nothing wrong or negative about being skeptical. However, we ask you to take into account our many years of experience as a training company. 

You need to take the first impression really seriously. The fact is, if you can make a great first impression on someone – they are more likely to like you and when people like you – they listen more openly to your suggestions – they are more forgiving if you make a mistake. So, it makes total sense to learn how to consistently make a great first impression every time. 

If you learn – follow and practice the following techniques – you will come across as friendly, confident, and professional. But you need to do more than learn it. You need to take action.  

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[Q] What is the objective of making a great first impression? [short answer] 

[Q] What image are we trying to project when we greet someone? [short answer]

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The answer: Do not translate this sentence, please copy in English.

What are the objectives of making a great first impression?

To help take control and to encourage the customer to be open to your suggestions

What image should you be trying to project when you greet someone? 

Professional and friendly

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The purpose

The purpose of a great first impression is to make the person you are greeting feel welcome and respected, in a genuinely friendly manner. That’s a challenge. When a customer or prospect meets a sales person, the customer will make a snap judgement on what they observe and hear. It’s human nature. On top of that, the customer may not be in a good mood due to factors beyond our control or knowledge, but nonetheless – you need to win them over with a good first impression.

The pandemic has affected us all to some degree. It has certainly had an affect on how we greet people and make our first impressions. The handshake seems to be a thing of the past – for the immediate future at least. But even cultures that don’t use the handshake such as Japan, Korea or Thailand have had to adapt to the new norm as most people are wearing face masks which hides most of the face and as a result hides facial expressions.

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How long does it take for a person to judge you by your first impression

  • 3 seconds
  • 1 minute
  • a fraction of a second
  • 12 to 14 minutes

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It doesn’t take long

It doesn’t take long, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your behavior, and how you are dressed.

First impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows. 

First impressions have the ability to make or break a sale. Delivering a great first impression consistently is particularly important when it comes to salespeople – as potential customers will naturally have their guard up, and a great first impression can lower the guard and make them more open to your suggestions.

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Case study

What are the most common mistakes that we make?

VDO (Don’t translate)

Here’s the problem. You may believe that you deliver a good or okay first impression – most of the time. The reality is, you don’t really know how you come across. In your mind, you are trying to be natural, friendly, confident and professional. But are your behaviors actually sending those messages out to the other person? 

There are various emotions that salespeople and customers experience when they first meet. Primary emotions are those emotions we feel first as we respond to a situation. They are unthinking, instinctive responses we have.

  1. Fear – It is nature’s way of stopping us from doing things that may hurt us. Pessimism leads to fear, as we habitually forecast that we will fail or that bad things will happen to us. For salespersons, these fear feelings are normally fear of wasting time, being rejected, or confrontations. For customers, they are also worried that it will waste their time, or they will be pressured to make decisions they don’t want to make.
  1. Anger – For salespersons: Losing a deal can make them angry or upset. Just having to be at work can make a salesperson angry. For customers: Previous purchase experiences and having to spend money that they didn’t plan to makes customers feel angry or unhappy, and that disappointment may come across when customers walk into the showroom.
  1. Sadness – We feel sad when we realize that we are unlikely to achieve our goals, especially when we have put a lot of effort into achieving them. For salespersons: Losing success at work or not being as good as someone else. For customers: The inability to afford or find what they want.
  1. Happiness – Positive anticipation and happiness happen when we predict that we will achieve our goals and feel confident about those predictions, perhaps because we have been right recently. For salespersons: They may feel happy because they have just sold a car or they are happy to be with a customer. For customers: They could be happy because they have achieved a goal, and they could show off their new bike to their friends.

Unfortunately, the common mistakes people make don’t stop there. It’s actually really easy to make a bad first impression:

VDO: sample of bad first impressions (Don’t translate)

  • Suspicious – eye movement expressions
  • No eye contact
  • Low voice – whispers – wrong tone
  • Not focused looking around – phones distractions 
  • Not recognising the customer
  • No smile/looking upset
  • Closed body language
  • Walking very slowly – no enthusiasm
  • Being too close or too far in distance
  • Making inappropriate jokes

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  1. Do you now believe that a suspicious first look has an affect on the quality of a first impression? 
  2. Do you now understand why the customer might not really feel welcome? 
  3. Are you willing to make the effort required to ensure you never provide a suspicious look again when greeting a customer?



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The behavior techniques

Awareness is not enough. Knowing you are doing something wrong does not mean you will stop. You need to take action but you need to know what action to take and how to do it. So, we shall now share with you proven, yet simple, techniques that when added together, will help ensure you make a great first impression. However, you need to take action and that means you need to practice. You can’t learn tennis by reading books and watching videos alone – you need to play. Once we have shared and explained the techniques we will lay out the practice methods for you. 

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  1. Recognition

Conducting the simple recognition technique is a way to show friendliness and respect in a casual, but polite, way. You don’t provide a hand to shake, but you do provide respect and recognition.

Due to the fact that most people need to wear masks, customers can’t see half of your face, and so, expressions are hidden. While the mouth and lips are critical for communication, so is our entire body language. The way we gesture with our hands, our posture, the tone and volume at which we speak, the way our eyes and eyebrows move while we are interacting with others — all send communication signals. 

Every time you meet a new person, try to put negative thoughts out of your mind and tell yourself, “Be positive”. Stop thinking and working out if they are a genuine customer or time waster – those thoughts will be felt by the customer and those thoughts stop you focusing on what you really need to project – positivity. We all can improve.

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[Q] Since people have been wearing masks, have you noticed that you catch people’s eyes more?  Yes/No

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2. Smile

This seems obvious but smiles can communicate more than words can say. Putting a smile on your face makes you look and feel confident, positive, and energetic.

Even though a customer can’t see your mouth and lips, it’s still important to smile – for a couple of reasons. First, when you smile, your eye shape changes and humans are naturally able to pick up on it. 

Secondly, smiling helps to make you feel confident, positive, and energetic. 

For some people, it’s actually easier to smile while wearing a mask because it helps them feel less self-conscious. Smile at the same time as you make eye contact. It doesn’t need to be a big cheesy smile. A thin smile will do. Just smile the way you do normally and try to do it naturally.  

You might think that because you wear a mask, the idea of having to smile is less important. Actually, the opposite is true. It’s even more vital than ever to make an effort to smile. That’s because we subconsciously pay more attention to body language details in such situations. It’s easy to forget to smile when wearing a mask. Some people find it difficult to smile as it can make them feel self-conscious, but wearing a mask can actually make it easier.  

Smiling is a technique when it’s consciously thought about, rather than when a smile occurs naturally without any effort. It’s one of the simplest techniques but many of us forget to use it enough. Just look around you. Many people only smile when they are taking a selfie or someone is taking a photo of them. Smiling used well does have an effect. Most people feel that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone.

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[Q] Do you find it easier to smile wearing a mask? [Yes/No]

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3. Walk with urgency


You can tell a lot about a person by the way they walk. Many lazy (lazy really means lack of motivation) people walk slowly and drag their feet. Successful people tend to walk with urgency. 

When customers see you walking with urgency towards them, you make them feel like they’re important. How would you like to be seen as lazy or as successful? Well, you have control of it. Walk with a little urgency towards your customer!

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4. Open posture

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Your body language can give away a lot about you. 

Be open, don’t cross your arms, and take your hands out of your pockets. Open body language makes you appear to be enthusiastic, even if you’re not feeling that way. Remember, enthusiasm is infectious. 

This shows you are confident and sure of yourself. Avoiding eye contact when you first meet someone can make you seem insecure, untrustworthy and shy.

Your body language can say a lot about you. Slouching gives the impression you’re lazy, or shy and insecure. Stand (sit up) straight to project confidence, doing so will allow you and your customer to feel more at ease.

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5.Voice tone and volume

The mask can muffle your voice and make it hard to hear you clearly. The volume of your voice indicates how confident you are. A softly spoken or quiet voice can give the impression that you are not confident. You don’t want to do that. Make sure you raise the volume of your voice. If the customer can’t hear you properly, he or she will become frustrated. That won’t help you. Speak up!

Your tone is equally important as the volume. The right tone is friendly and professional.

Many of you have intelligent and interesting things to say but you don’t speak with any confidence.

We will go into the importance of voice and how to develop it to your advantage in an upcoming lesson. For now, let’s talk about the basics in relation to your first impression greeting. A study by Duke University found that those who talk in a deeper voice, and more calmly, are taken more seriously.

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6. Eye contact

Eye contact behavior typically becomes ingrained at a fairly young age. Very young babies can’t communicate through talking. However, making eye contact is easy and natural. You were a baby once and you had absolutely no problem making eye contact. Adults worry about what others think of them, babies don’t. Babies need eye contact. They seek it out. However, already by the age of 3 years old, kids show signs of shyness and avoid eye contact.

Our modern-day lifestyle is also making it harder for us to make effective eye contact. In today’s world, our eyes are often directed to computer screens or our mobile phones, even when we are in the company of other people. It’s pretty self-evident that this is not beneficial for smooth social interaction. Eye contact has always been a challenge, some might even say a bit awkward. Today, this may be truer than ever.

Your ability to make effective eye contact will have an impact on how others perceive you. You can power dress, look beautiful or handsome, you can sound friendly, but if you can’t make eye contact you will be perceived as unconfident or untrustworthy (it can be perceived that you’re hiding something).  

Now you might be saying to yourself, “in my culture it’s not polite to make eye contact”. In some cases, this is true; to a degree. So, it’s up to you to use your knowledge to decide how much eye contact to make. In the US, it’s normal to hold eye contact for long periods. In Asia, it means holding for 3 to 5 seconds, then breaking away for a moment to look down, or look at your hand, or look at a pen and move it, and then resume eye contact.

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7. What to say

Adding the name of the person to the above correct greeting of your choice will dramatically enhance the greeting. It’s a habit worth forming. No one will be annoyed if you use their name. However, do not shorten or change a person’s name without their permission or being absolutely sure they will be ok with it. Again, do not use nicknames in business unless you are 100% sure it’s approved by the other person.

Take note of the person’s name when they say it, then quiz yourself on it a few minutes, or even seconds, later. Testing yourself on the name will help you retain it better in the long term.

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Remember this

[Q]  How good are you at remembering names?

  • Good
  • Just okay
  • Not good

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Add the name

Add the name to each photo. Try not to look back at the video (no cheating 🙂


  1. Click and hold on the name you wish to select.
  2. Drag the name to the empty box next to the picture of the person it belongs to.
  3. Release the mouse button, dropping the name into the desired box.
  4. Repeat until all of the names have been matched to the correct person.

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How did you do?

10 out of 10: My word, you might  have a photographic memory. Remembering names should be easy for you. However, why not find out more about techniques and maximize your skill at recalling names. 

7-9 out of 10: Not bad, not bad at all. If you didn’t already, try the techniques we provided. You have potential to be good at this.

4-6 out of 10: Room for improvement, for sure. Remembering names is a skill that can be developed. It just depends on how serious you are about your career. It’s definitely worth putting some effort into. 

0-3 out of 10: Oh dear…remembering names not your thing? The tips and techniques provided in this lesson are proven to work at remembering names. This is an opportunity to make a real, positive impact on your career, and we recommend you make a commitment to improving. There’s plenty of free help online, as well.

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Dealing with groups

Don’t be presumptuous. How to greet more than one person?

Let’s take the example of a couple visiting your brand or attending a marketing event. It’s often the case that the man may do all the talking and his partner or wife says little to nothing. It’s common, and the normal reaction of the sales or service person is getting sucked into a conversation with the man, and as a result, little or no attention is provided to his partner.

What we fail to consider are the consequences. Most of the time, the woman is not a silent partner. In a car showroom for instance, the female partner may feel she would rather leave her husband to handle the negotiation. However, this does not mean she is separated from what’s going on. She does listen and she does make a judgement on what transpires. 

She may say nothing much to you, but once they have left the premises, she will share her opinion. She might say something like, “I don’t like the sales person. I don’t trust them.” What, in fact, has happened is that because she was not engaged, she stands back and judges the situation in a critical manner. 

Let’s remember, if it is a normal married couple, she may have control of the household purse strings (spending money) and she is therefore part of the decision process. It’s vital that you learn to use your eyes as a tool to engage her and keep her positive towards you, while at the same time, providing enough attention to her husband.

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So, how to do it?

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There should now be absolutely no doubt in your mind that first impressions are so important, as they last well beyond that moment. This is due to something called the primacy effect, which is the tendency to remember the first piece of information we encounter better than information presented later on.

A great, positive first impression is an important start to building a relationship with your customers. The initial impression can set the tone for the entire customer experience.

You may never get a second chance to make that first good impression, to communicate confidence, sincerity, and professionalism. 

In the beginning, it takes effort. It requires practice – practice until the whole greeting process becomes a habit. 

Start using the techniques to look friendly and professional, and if you do, you’ll be surprised by the positive response of all those around you. Nothing will change unless you do something – so take action

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Do’s and Don’ts

Do stand up when you say hello

Do make eye contact (hold for 5 seconds in their left eye)

Do smile (even when wearing a mask)

Do use the customer’s name (as often as possible)

Don’t shake hands until it’s deemed safe to do so (COVID-19)

Don’t provide a lazy greeting…EVER

Don’t use nicknames unless you are given permission

Don’t drag your feet; it looks lazy

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Dare to do!

You cannot improve your greeting techniques just by reading or watching videos, you need to do them. 

Are you motivated and up for a challenge? Then prove it and show you are willing and brave enough to meet the challenge. 

We dare you to practice the techniques on video and share it with us. 

  • Please practice and record yourself conducting a greeting. 
  • You can simply use your mobile phone to do it. The video should not be more than 15 seconds. 
  • You may ask your peers to help you record it or you may do it yourself. You could ask a family member or friend to help. It can be fun. 
  • You need to act as if you are welcoming someone for the first time by implementing the learned techniques.

This is a challenge, so you will get more points if you do it. We take your privacy very seriously, your video is only for learning purposes and will not be shared without your consent. See our Privacy Policy.

Please upload your video here:

  • I want to keep my video private
  • I am ok being a superstar

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Well done, you just finished your first module. 

Before you go, could you please answer these questions?

  1. Did you understand the objective of the lesson?

[Where 1 is low and 5 is high]

  1. How confident are you to apply what you have learned?

[Where 1 is not confident and 5 is very confident] 

  1. How useful and practical is this to your work?

[Where 1 is not practical and 5 is very practical]

  1. Please indicate what was the most useful thing you have learned?
  1. Any extra comments you’d like to make?