First Impression

What first impression do you make over the phone?

People are quick to judge.

We don’t even think about it. It’s part of our DNA that goes back to a time when our survival depended on our reflex to “fight or flight”.

While our lives are rarely at risk anymore, our time and sanity are.

We have 7 seconds to make a positive first impression.

Call centres like i24 Call Management Solutions, count on making positive first impressions over the phone.

Those first 7 seconds of a phone exchange determines a missed opportunity or new client.

We assess people almost immediately on meeting them face to face. We do this by judging their appearance, posture and speech.

When we meet someone over the phone, only their voice will give us those clues. What the person says and how they say it will determine whether we have an exchange or an engagement.

Being a musical buff, I see the elements that go into making a positive first impression as being, words, music and dance.  Unfortunately, we miss the dance when the conversation is only vocal.

What can we do with only words and music?

Have you been moved to look the up the composer of a song you just heard? Are you stirred to action after listening to a speech? Did listening to Hooked on Classics inspire you to explore classical music?

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

The words we choose communicate what we want the listener to understand and how we want them to feel about us.

It’s how we say these words – the tone, speed, and rhythm that makes the music.

The music makes the emotional connection.

Words matter.

If you want to leave a positive impression, lead with a positive vocabulary.  

This is especially true in negative situations.

Here’s how to turn 14 negative customer service phrases into positive first impressions.

14 negative customer service phrases into positive first impressions.

The music that makes us dance.

There is a reason we refer to radio and podcasts as “theatre of the mind”. The writer’s words, actor’s delivery, and production effects give us a mental impression their world.

  • Smile. Your callers will be able to tell. Smiling affects how we speak. Listeners can identify the type of smile based on sound alone. (study by scientists at the University of Portsmouth.)
  • Tone.  Listeners will detect the type of smile and whether it is authentic by the tone of the speaker. Is the voice lazy or enthusiastic, clear or unintelligible?
  • Posture.  Your posture is very important as it affects your tone. Sitting upright will produce a more assured voice. Slouching will have your voice sounding apathetic or worse, automated.
  • Speed. It’s important to speak neither too slow or too quick. Speaking too fast gives the impression you”re rushing the listener. Speaking too slowly can come off as condescending and uninterested.
  • Rhythm. Speech that engages, has a rhythm, unlike Charlie Brown’s teacher.

Speak with a natural cadence that rises and falls with different emphasis.

 Avoid up-talk and vocal-fry.


When you first speak to someone, how do you imagine they imagine you?

Regardless of what end of the line you're on, not being seen doesn't make you invisible.

Your listener will fill in the blanks and imagine what you look like, so be sure to give them all the affirmative clues you can.

Remember the 14 positive phone responses and the 5 ways to create a positive mental image of who you are.

The first impression you make determines if it's a lasting one.

Make people feel that they matter and you will matter to them.


i24 Call Management Solutions

Need a hand giving your clients lasting positive impressions?

Call i24 Call Management Solutions at 800-867-6767.

We'll impress you.