Chances are you have spent time talking to your students about the importance of first impressions. First impressions are essential in an industry that serves and caters to customers. You might be surprised what conclusions are being made within those first few seconds. People will assume your skill level, your personality, your trustworthiness, your level of success and much more! Their immediate opinion goes a long way in determining whether they like you or want to do business with you.
According to The Harvard Study of Communications, 38% of what makes up a first impression is how you sound. Only 7% of a first impression is the words that you say. The big takeaway is that 55% of a first impression is visual. It is how you look, how you dress, how you stand, it’s your facial expressions and your body language. It’s your nonverbal signs that make the most impact during those first few seconds.
Students aren’t the only ones that need to be aware of first impressions. As educators, we also need to be aware of the first impressions that we make while we are interacting with potential students and with students and customers that come into the school for services. In the classroom, greet students at the door and smile! Offer them assistance and be their mentor. Go the extra mile! As leaders, we need to lead by example. Always remember that “like” attitudes are contagious.
Incorporate lessons within your curriculum on the importance of first impressions in the workplace and how a good or bad first impression affects relationships. Roleplay with students on how to make a great first impression. Hold juicy discussions around the value of first impressions and the role it plays with beauty and wellness professionals. Facilitate brainstorming activities with students on what they can do to go the extra mile with their customers. Allow students to perform a self-assessment on themselves and rate themselves on how they feel they do when it comes to making a great first impression. While working in the student salon be certain to provide constructive feedback and continued coaching to students to help them master the art of making a great first impression.
Make certain you’re using those first few seconds to your benefit by making a positive first impression.
Patti Wanamaker brings 21 years of experience to the Milady team, where she currently serves as an Academic Training Specialist. Her intimate understanding of the salon, school, and beauty industry comes from 18 years of hands-on experience as a multi-faceted training specialist, including 8 years of salon and spa ownership of 3 salons with annual sales of $5 million. Her experience in all 3 areas of our industry allows her to think outside the box and develop innovative trainings that not only inspire, but empower educators/trainers to create the most effective learning environments for their students.