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  • Is first contact really important?

Is first contact really important?

Have you experienced a situation similar to the following, thousands of which happen every day, in various banks and other institutions all over the Czech Republic?

A married couple come to the bank for information. The relationship manager lets them wait for 10  minutes, before taking care of them. Then, in an exhausted and impatient tone, he/she says: “How can I help you?“ or “Yes..?“

After asking the first question, the relationship manager, as a refuge, takes out a few general documents: “You will find the information here.“ And the couple leaves angry and disappointed.

What happened? The relationship manager did take care of the couple. Greeted them with a smile. Thanked them for seeing him/her and suggested reading the documents. And, even though good will prevailed, the couple left. Why? What conduct do we have to stress during the first contact? What can we do for the conversation to proceed in a positive, trustful and constructive spirit.

Shouldn´t we arouse trust in the potential client, above all, namely in the first minutes of our conversation? And how can we achieve that?

We should be aware of three main rules we have to stick to:
Rule No. 1: We act continuously.

Everything we do or do not do, what we say or forget to say, influences our potential client. Automatically or unintentionally, we arouse distrust, reinforce or distract it. Only conscious conduct establishes trust provided that we arouse it and are able to control it.

Even our conduct outside the work life is important and influences our professional success rate. Especially in times of Facebook and other social networking sites, when information really spread at the speed of light.

Rule No. 2: 100% + or 100% -

A single detail can cause total success or total distrust. It is a secret language. Details of our reactions or your facial expression can, at the first sight, seem unimportant, anyway, they can contribute to influencing the opinion of our potentional client, either entirely negative or positive.

Let´s look at one example: Will dirty nails and hands of a relationship manager during the conversation cause bad opinion about us, even though this evident negligence has been caused by the fact that we were helping a person with car problems on the highway?

“When we change ourselves, we will be acknowledged“

Let´s continue in our example. Now consider that our potentional client learns that evening, that the person we were helping with the car problems was his own wife, who was on her way to the doctor´s. What will his opinion about us be during our next conversation?

Theodore Robert „Ted“ Bundy was an American serial killer, active in 1973 – 1978, who looked for his victims in public places, in the company of people. His attractive looks and ability to win the trust helped him. He was considered a gentle and intelligent young man.

Rule No. 3: Consciously affect subconsciousness and cause reaction.

We can consciously affect our partner´s subconsciousness. We can affect it by our gestures, words and conduct and gently bring him/her to trusting us.

We should not ask ourselves the question: What can a potentional client think when we visit him/her at home or in his office?“ at the beginning of the conversation.

Even though they will not show that, distrust, doubts and fears are the words that are the most distinct when thinking about meeting us. Does not the fact, that he/she often judges us reservedly, tensely, impassively or aggressively according to our looks before being interested in the purpose of our visit, contribute to that, too?

This uneasiness can melt away quickly from the tense atmosphere, if we calm him/her down and arouse his/her interest. We have very little time for that. As it is probably very pretentious to declare that we can persuade our client during the first contact to, for example, entrust us with managing his/her assets, and is just as certain, that we can lose the opportunity as soon as is the first thirty seconds of our meeting.

François de La Rochefoucauld formulated quite accurately, what our potentional client often feels:

“First impression is always right, even if it is wrong“.

Our self-consciousness and our self-esteem depend on the quality of preparation. Two feelings, that abstractedly give our potentional client feeling of security and point out the meaning of the first meeting. We manifest our responsibility and credibility, the better prepared we are.

This preparation and our credibility help us to start the conversation in a positive and enthusiastic way. Will the image of our future client that we created, subconsciously influence us, without getting to know him/her?

Our conduct and clothing, our first gestures and words, as well as insignificant details ouf our conduct contribute to creation of pleasant or uneasy impression on the potentional client.

Does not he/she have the first opinion before we open our mouth?

And even more that each sense of his/hers  is open within the first sentences. These impressions determine his/her conduct to us, both consciously and unconsciously, from the beginning of conversation.

Written by

Bára Soukupová

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Maxwell International s.r.o.
Jablonského 640/2
170 00 Praha 7 – Holešovice
Česká Republika

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