So in my gym class the other day (I guess you don't call it gym anymore, I should call it my workout class at "the club" but it's not really a club, it's a 24-Hour Fitness). Anyway, we were working with some weights and the instructor asked if we knew the value of a second impression. She said everybody knows about the value of a first impression, but what about the second impression? Which means that last look you leave them with as you leave the room. Which, in my gym class, translates into more exercises for the gluteus maximus. Which we can all use.
But it got me thinking about the value of a second impression in my business. We've all had it pounded into our heads the significance of making a good first impression and of course in business it's no different. That first meeting with your client face to face, or the first time you meet somebody at a networking event, or the first project you complete for a new client, or the first time they hear about you online via your website or (hopefully) your eNewsletter. These will set the tone for establishing a relationship with your client, definitely. But in order to maintain that relationship, the second impression you make will be even more valuable.
In other words, your dependability. This means always being available to your client, always responding as quickly as possible to emails and phone calls, always offering suggestions for improvements on projects ... in other words, always being there. Knowing they can count on you will set you apart from the other designer/whatever. I once cut my vacation short for one of my best clients. A bit extreme maybe but I'm self employed and I depend on them so I need them to know they can depend on me . . . always. Without Fail. Consistently. Invariably. Regularly. Habitually. Unfailingly.
(yes I looked up the Thesaurus meaning of always)
For me anyway, a good second impression means consistent, reliable performance.