Second Chance First Impression


SECOND CHANCES TO Make GREAT First Impressions

In this day and age of unreturned messages, we need to be aware of The GOBLIN Effect: the inexplicable disappearance of messages. We must give people a SECOND Chance to make a 1st Impression. Many of us get bent out of shape because a voice message, text or email isn’t returned from someone we expect would do so. (I’m not talking about sales pitches or other ignorable communications). We take the magnanimous position of ‘understanding of how full everyone’s plate’ is. It conjures a visual of the person at the ‘all you can eat’ buffet … with food overflowing the rim of the platter. Gross. Taking that metaphor to the max, we are overweighted– and overwrought— by all we do, have to do and want to do so that we are prone to cutting some slack for the person who is too busy to respond.

But there is another factor at play to explain why we may not hear from people: the aforementioned:Goblin Effect. Our emails disappear into the netherworlds of ghosts, goblins and aliens who playfully wreak havoc with our messages and, consequently, our business and professional relationships. Think Casper and other less-friendly ghosts.

When I finished the manuscript of my second book, I anxiously waited to hear from my editor. FINALLY after too many sleepless nights, I called her. You can imagine my surprised when she said she left a lengthy message on my answering machine (Yes, my young friends we used to leave messages on machines that answered phones) weeks earlier. It had disappeared. The only explanation? The Goblin Effect. Machines and technology have glitches.

Don’t get me started on emails. A former client emailed me to speak again for his upcoming convention. That is how I make my living! Why on earth would I ignore an invite to add to my income! Fortunately, Bob knew I wouldn’t do that and — get this— he went OLD SCHOOL, picked up the phone and called me to see what happened. What a concept! A follow-up phone call! I never got the original email. And I am speaking for his upcoming convention. But what if he had just assumed I was not interested? I’d be SOL… and so would his attendees, if I do say so myself.

And then there was the techie-addicted gentleman caller who emailed to arrange our dates. That should have been a huge red clue and red flag. One day he called and wondered if there was a reason he hadn’t heard from me. I guess he thought he was being given his walking papers. No, I had never gotten the email and was glad to hear from him. Yes, we did arrange our date… on the phone.

Today, emails are filtered by spam-checkers and, additionally, we select what gets dumped into our junk mail folders. This is a big problem in the world of email marketers.

I check my spam filter just in case I am dying to try Cialis, need a Russian bride or a million dollars from a Nigerian prince.

And there have been emails I’ve sent and messages I’ve left and letters I’ve mailed… that, upon checking, I learned never arrived. One was a thank you gift card to my cousin’s fave store. Had I not known that she had the grace and class to always acknowledge anything special, her gift card (and my money) would be lost forever. Fortunately, by calling the store and having an actual conversation, the manager was able to check, see that it hadn’t been used, cancel the original and reissue a new one. My cousin promptly called to say it arrived and thank me.

On the other hand, when you hear from someone you know who asking a question or giving you information, it’s thoughtful to acknowledge the message.

To sum it up, between The Goblin Effect, Spam filters, Junk inboxes, systems and machine glitches, we must give people a SECOND Chance to make a 1st Impression.

And, on the other hand, if an email you receive is from someone who is truly connected to you —personally or professionally and merits it, hit reply and acknowledge even if you briefly write:

“Good to hear from you. In a rush. More later.” And then you send more ….later!

Susan RoAne

About Susan RoAne

Susan RoAne leads a double life as a sought-after professional keynote speaker and a bestselling author. Known as The Mingling Maven®, she gives diverse audiences the required tools, techniques and strategies they need to connect and communicate in today’s global business world. The San Francisco Chronicle says she has a “dynamite sense of humor.” To hire Susan to speak for your company, association or college, 1.415.461.3915