I walked into a new donut shop last month, Jelly Modern Doughnuts, "Canada's original gourmet doughnut bakery cafe." I'd been eyeing it for a few weeks. The exterior of the store looked hip and modern, the logo was funky and playful and colorful. You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but we all do and I did, so I finally walked in. The staff looked dazed and there were about 10 dried out donuts on display. Hmmm. I chose a cinnamon-flavored one because it was the freshest looking one. It tasted okay but the disappointment I felt from the moment I walked in ensured that I'd never return. And I haven't.
Compare that to the burger joint I tried out last night for the first time, The Burger's Priest. I'd heard great things about it and I wasn't disappointed. My cheeseburger was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And everyone I was with loved theirs -- the Vatican City and the Pope, in particular, from a "secret" online menu. The place was packed, the decor was quirky and original, with Hebrew scriptures on the wall and tiny crosses over the menu board showing someone's attention to detail. In short, they got everything right. I will be back.
The funny thing, I think, is even if I return to the Burger's Priest and I don't have a great experience, I'll probably give it a third and fourth chance -- because that first time was great. But I'm done with Jelly, even if I should give it a second chance. It just goes to show how important first impressions are.
When I work for a client the first time or, even before that, when I'm emailing a prospective new client, I'm paranoid about making sure there are no spelling mistakes in anything I write. I'm a writer, for godsakes. If I screw up spelling the first time I communicate with someone, what does that say about my abilities and attention to detail? I have to get it right the first time.
Remember that the next time you go into a job interview or start a business. Maybe little details like this shouldn't matter. But they do.