How to make a good first impression – or not

Posted on March 27, 2013


good first impression
I had to go to the bank to deposit a check. I’m already annoyed because I hate going to the bank. Long lines, annoying music, video screens in my face, tellers trying to sell, sell, sell. You get the picture. All I want to do is get in and get out, no conversation.

The teller scrutinizes my check and says, “you may be able to get a better rate in a different money market.” Okay, so no hard sell, and I like the sound of a better rate. She went on to say that opening a new money market account will only take 5 minutes and someone can help me right away. Score another point, no waiting.

I glanced at the young woman who was going to help me. The first thing I noticed was her nose piercing. Call me old fashioned, but body piercings disgust me. I certainly don’t want the people handling my hard earned money to look like freaks. Banks are usually conservative places, especially this bank. The customers are typically older people. People can do whatever they want with their bodies, but those who serve this public should respect the mores of their customers. A bank isn’t exactly a tattoo parlor or a clothing store for the 20-somethings. Subtract one point for the bank.

As we were talking, my opinion of this young woman slowly changed. She was a delightful person and very knowledgeable about the bank. She asked me how I liked banking at Citizens. I told her about my extreme annoyance at the tellers who are always trying to sell me something, she nodded and said she completely understood. She was authentic and very down to earth. I can see why she was hired.

As I left the bank, I started thinking about this whole experience and I realized that first impressions aren’t always correct ones.

What about you? Have you had any recent experiences where your negative first impression was changed to a positive one?

The elegant dining picture is courtesy of Renee S. Suen’s Flckr Photostream, under Creative Commons Licensing.