Willis Johnson learned the value of first impressions when he was establishing a partnership with the owner of a cab fleet. During the time that the owner was still trying to get to know Willis and his company, the owner decided to test the waters by starting off with making a small order. Even though the order wasn’t as big as Willis had hoped for, it was just big enough to get things going.
Willis filled the order himself and personally delivered it. The owner, impressed that he had taken care of it so quickly, made a bigger order—the big order Willis was hoping for—right away. When Willis returned to the owner with the bigger order, he approached and saw the owner laughing and joking with two other guys that he didn’t know. After seeing this, Willis became worried that the deal might have gone sour and that the owner wasn’t going to take all the parts after all. After climbing out of his truck and stepping up to the men in the lot, the owner turned to Willis and introduced him to the owner of Yellow Cab Company and the owner of Luxor Cabs. They both wanted parts too.
The professionalism, expediency and great first impression Willis established led him to doing business with two other larger cab companies because the owner of the original deal was so impressed. Willis writes: “with any deal, you want to treat folks right, like you’d like to be treated. And first impressions matter.”