It’s easy to make a good first impression.

You get into the right clothes, do a bit of grooming, practice the smile and the firm handshake, learn a bit about body language and wham, bam, thank you m’am, you’ve aced the first impression.

Everyone thinks you’re a great guy or gal and relaxes.

Then what?

Then the real you gets an outing.

When you stop trying to impress is there a different you that comes out?

I’ve recently had to re-asses my opinion of someone who always gives a great first impression performance and remembered this that I heard from George Raynault, a multi-millionaire I worked with for several years who was a very wise man:

Someone at a reception smiled a hello and shook my hand warmly.

Later I saw him sneering at one of the waiters.

And, later still, talking behind someone’s back.

You only have one chance to make a first impression, true, but you have an

awful lot of time to make plenty of second impressions.

If you are meeting someone for the first time and may not get a chance to see

them again, a first impression really counts. For a very short time.

However, if you are going to be interacting with a person over a longer period of

time then second impressions are even more important.

Is someone who is rude to waiters and cab drivers or who cheats a barmaid out

of small change really someone you want to do business with?

If someone is always blaming other people and doesn’t treat others as they’d like to be treated why would you recommend them to others?

If people know they can rely on you to behave well and honorably even if no-one is watching, if you listen to them, make them feel good, cheer them up, be kind or give them good advice they will always seek you out and introduce you to others.

Second impressions are even more important than the first ones.