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  • Writer's pictureTom Andre, Associate Broker, REALTOR®, & Licensed Professional Counselor (GA-LPC)

KING SIZE: Big First Impressions

During a stand-up comedy routine (my first ever), I closed my set by stating, “back when I first tried online dating… it was back during dial-up” while holding my pinky and my thumb to my ear like you did with a telephone back in the olden days.

It was during that time, the brief stint in online dating that is, where I met someone who changed my life and it all revolved around the size of a candy bar.

Although my online dating experience was not quite during the days of dial-up, it wasn’t too far from it. I met a woman named, Gianna (a.k.a. "Johnnie"), whose occupation was one of a professional speaker and presenter.

She'd present corporate keynote speeches and demonstrate the latest products at tradeshows and conferences. I’d soon come to find out that Johnnie had the “wow” factor not just in her presentations, but also in her presence. She was an expert at getting one's full attention and making a great, first impression, which she did.

When I first met her, Halloween was on the horizon. As she and I talked one day, I told her I was on my way to buy candy for the kids in my neighborhood. When she asked what I was buying for them, I told her the typical marketed and major brands of “bite-sized” candies.

“Wrong”, she told me.

“What do you mean?”, I asked.

“Buy the KING-SIZED candy bars,” she quipped.

“Why do that?”, I asked. That is not what’s marketed in the aisles of every major store.

“Because you’ll WOW those young, impressionable, trick-or-treaters so much they’ll NEVER, EVER forget you. And, they’ll talk about it for the rest of their lives”, she said.

The practical side of me found that hard to believe and/or conceive and I resisted her suggestion; however, she eventually talked me into agreeing to, at least, testing out her theory.

So, I settled on a blended candy purchase, buying both multiple bags of the bite-size and a dozen of the king-size candy bars for my trick-or-treaters. I wasn't convinced yet, but I was curious to see what would happen.

As the costumed kids slowly trudged through my neighborhood and climbed the steps to my front door, my Halloween experiment started to unfold. I answered the door with an unusual eagerness not only interested in the costumes, but also the results of my social experiment..

I tried giving the costumed doorknockers a few bite-size candies, and then a bit later, I’d try giving others a whole handful (or two) of bite-size candy bars, and later on, at some point,… I tried dumping the entire bowl of multiple bite-sized candy bars into some of the kid’s bags in an effort to impress and overwhelm them. All of their response I’d categorize in the normal or typical: it's Halloween and I am getting free candy... range.

Then late in the night, I pulled out the KING-SIZED Hershey Milk Chocolate candy bar for the half dozen select kids. When those kids saw the over-the-top Halloween currency I wielded, their expressions were absolutely priceless!! Not just happy, but cheering, fist-pumping, ecstatic faces… with huge smiles beyond what I experienced with any of the various combinations or numbers of the bite-sized candy bars I provided. All of those gifting experiences, from a modest one bar to a whole bowl, yielded generally the same facial expression. When giving the KING-SIZED candy bars many of the kids could not contain themselves, or even keep still, as they jumped up and down and made up an improvisational celebratory dance, the only kind that overly excited children can do.

From my perspective, the additional expense was nominal for the type of reactions and the joy I received. It was completely worth the investment.

I also had to admit that I had been shortsighted. I also began to understand the value of making not only a lasting impression but also a significant one.

There is an opportunity cost of delivering a product or service within the expected or average range – especially when you have the opportunity to blow them out of the water.

Now, in case you were wondering back to where we started, Johnnie and I never made it together as an official couple; however, she did teach me a few valuable lessons, one of which I try to pay homage to in both my personal and my professional life: “You really do never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Good companies might be aware of this, but great companies know it - and deliver both!


Tom Andre is a REALTOR© in the Atlanta metro area. He represents the 3rd generation of REALTORS© in his family. Tom holds a B.S. in Organizational & Interpersonal Communication, an MA in Counseling, and is licensed as an Associate Broker, and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Georgia. He utilizes his people, counseling, negotiation skills making home sales smooth and stress-free. Get to know Tom by calling470-486-7851. © Thomas Andre

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