We’ve all been told, “Never judge a book by its cover.” Yeah, right. Everyone is judging everyone else. Intentionally or not, people are constantly judging and categorizing others, compartmentalizing them into boxes. There are many boxes—sharp, strange, weird, intelligent, dense, geeky, powerful, annoying, and more.
A great persuader can connect with anyone in thirty seconds or less. First impressions take only seconds to form, but they last a lifetime. This is a critical skill to develop because the cement dries fast. How do you ensure that you’re making those early seconds really count?
That first judgment or opinion about you is vital to your success. In this fast-paced world, you probably won’t get a second chance—you have to make it happen the first time.
Many persuaders can’t tell if they’re connecting. They think that they’re doing everything right, that they’re doing all the stereotypical rapport-building things: being friendly, enthusiastic, or fun. But the reality is that in most cases, they are not building rapport and are failing to connect with their audience. Studies show that not only do 75 percent of people not like all the “gushy, chit-chatty stuff,” but 99 percent of them won’t even bother to stop you when they’re annoyed.
The proverbial bad salesman comes to mind here. He acts too chummy and tells stupid jokes, all the while thinking everyone loves him. You’ve probably met him. What did you do when you met this person? If you’re like most people, you politely endured the encounter, made up some excuse to get him off your back, and then swore to yourself that’d you’d never get stuck talking to him again.
Reality check: This annoying person could be you.