Psychology of Business Economincs

Exploiting the Power of First Impressions


First impressions matter, and this is more than simply a social rule.

Last week, a new notebook computer that we had ordered arrived at the office.  We have other computers,  from Macs and other Apple products to a number of PCs that we use for various functions.

In ordering the new notebook computer, my office administrator evaluated what it would be used for and chose a Dell over a Mac because of the programs it must run.  Because of our good experience with Mac products, especially their design and user interface, we knew there’d be a trade-off — but here’s the point about first impressions:

As I began to open the lid of the new Dell notebook for the first time — just an inch or two open —  I could see that the stickers placed on the lower right hand of the computer’s face were put on crooked.  What do you think my immediate impression was of the Dell?  Yes, that it’s sloppily and cheaply made.  My overall impression was focused through the initial lens.

What first impressions are you and your group giving to patients, referring physicians and hospital administrators?  What can your group do to construct, manage and exploit the power of first impressions?  Have you tied the creation of first impressions together with the provisions of your partnership/shareholders agreement, employment agreements and subcontracts, and the group’s compensation plan?

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