Posted on April 6, 1999

  The Add Me! Newsletter           *** ISSUE #26 ***
  "Free tips for promoting your website"
  Add Me, Inc         

           >> First Impressions Count <<

  April 6th, 1999                   *** ISSUE #26 ***


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           .....THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE.....

              First Impressions Count

  by Jennifer Stewart B.A.

  If you're in business, your aim will be to sell a product 
  or a service.

  So, how do you go about convincing your potential customers 
  to buy from you rather than from your competitor?

  You must instill confidence; confidence in your ability 
  to deliver what you have promised to deliver, whether that 
  is a $5 booklet or a $50.000 company review.

  ** Personal Communication **

  When you are dealing with customers or clients face to 
  face, you rely on making a good first impression in order 
  to win their confidence. Studies have shown that lasting 
  impressions are made in the first three or four minutes 
  of contact.  We spend the rest of the time we know the 
  person - whether it's half an hour or a lifetime - 
  reinforcing or modifying that initial impression.

    I knew I could trust him, from our very first meeting.

    He seemed such a charming person; I can't believe 
    I was so taken in.

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  These face to face encounters rely on a number of factors 
  to create the first impression:

  - physical appearance - size, shape, age, colouring, sex
  - dress
  - smell
  - eye contact (or lack of it)
  - body language
  - gesture
  - facial expression
  - voice- tone, pitch, inflection, pace
  - words
  - surroundings

  So, we're using four of our senses - sight, sound, touch, 
  smell - to make a judgement about the other person.

  ** Written Communication **

  But what happens when you have to rely on only one sense - 
  sight? What happens when all you have are words? 

  Consider the unfortunate baker who advertised: 

  When doing business on the internet, you must make sure 
  that the message you mean to convey, is the message your 
  readers receive.

  So always have someone else read your final copy before 
  you let it loose on the world. It's so easy to miss 
  these ambiguities yourself - after all, you wrote it, 
  so you know what you meant to say - others may not 
  necessarily interpret a sentence as you intended  (as 
  with our baker above).

  ** K.I.S.S. **

  I know this principle has been done to death - but 
  there's no better way of remembering one of the most 
  basic rules of communication - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

  Author Mark Twain once worked as a journalist and was 
  paid seven cents a word for his articles. His rule for 
  successful writing was expressed clearly when he said, 
  "I never write metropolis for seven cents, because I 
  can get the same price for city."

  - Avoid the temptation to show off by using big words, 
  when little ones express the same concepts and take 
  less time to read.

  - Sentences should be short (a maximum of 25 words - 
  around 18 is better) and every sentence should have 
  something worthwhile to say. If it's just there to pad 
  out the page, delete it.

  - Don't use qualifiers unless absolutely necessary 
  (absolutely is an example of a qualifier - it doesn't 
  add anything new to the sentence - delete it).

  ** Avoid Basic Errors **

  How many times have you left a site before you even knew 
  what it was offering because the first words you saw were 
  something like this:
    Click hear to recieve grate free stuff. Its you're only 
    chance to get infromation wich could of saved you heaps 
    if you'd of known wear to find it before.

  Most recent word processor programs have spell checkers 
  and many also have grammar and punctuation checkers - 
  use them!

  Nothing will create a bad first impression quicker than 
  careless mistakes with basic language. Why should I trust 
  you with my money, when you don't even care enough to 
  check your spelling?  

  ** No Second Chances **

  Remember - you only get one chance to make a good first 
  impression. Do everything you can to ensure that it's a 
  good one!

  Jennifer Stewart B.A. 
  Director National Correspondence Tutorials

  For help with your writing, visit How to Write Well at:

  Jennifer Stewart has a degree in English Literature and 
  History and taught senior High School for over twenty years. 
  During that time, she was Head of Department, responsible 
  for devising and implementing teaching programs. After 
  leaving teaching, she wrote - and now markets - writing 
  courses for students and adults who want to improve their 
  writing skills. 

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