Beyond the Build

Leadership

The First Impression

Never underestimate the value of a solid first impression, as there is never a second chance. While perception may change over time, to me, that first impression seems to be what we all remember the most.

Thursday evening, I was out of town, checking into the hotel rather late, and used valet parking. While the valet unloaded my car, he asked my name for the retrieval ticket. As I was walking toward the lobby he said, “I hope you have good stay, Mr. Stewart. We will take care of your car.”

In that moment, I was once again reminded how much a good first impression can mean. That valet was my first contact with the hotel, and set the tone for my time there.

The little things matter. The first impression, the second, and so forth. All other things being equal, our experiences in “purchase” often boil down to one or two elements–a greeting, a word, a sentence or something that creates a memory.

I saw this fellow again as I was checking in and he spoke to me, remembering my name and creating a lasting positive memory for this hotel. I know where I will be staying next time I’m in this city.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.