first impressions matter

I am fortunate to work with someone who cares as much about first impressions as I do.

Yesterday I had to sit through a meeting regarding the details of some work I am going to be doing for Bethel at the MN State Fair. During the meeting my boss said some good things about keeping our area and table clean and organized. He mentioned that people approach our table with neutral feelings and with in 10 seconds they will make a decision about whether or not to stop and talk to us. I personally think it might be even faster than that, but nevertheless.

This same attitude carries over into the office where we work. The dress code here is work casual, but there is an aura of professionalism that is expected to carry over into everything. The way we answer phones, treat visitors, the background music, the office decor - it is all meant to give a positive first impressions to potential students that approach us.

I am learning more and more that these beliefs must be continually lifted up and fought for. I have overheard multiple conversations between my boss and other managers on campus, where my boss is beating the drum of first impressions importance. Dirty bathrooms and unvacuumed floors matter and yet this kind of stuff isn't even on most people's radar.

How about in your church...
-do people feel good when they walk in the building?
-Are you churches' bathrooms and floors and kids toys clean?
-What music is playing before and after the service?
-Are people in the church friendly?
-What are you conveying by your signs and clothes and mannerisms?

You have 5-10 seconds when someone walks in before they make a decision about you. What are you going to do?