First impressions are often regarded as crucial in determining a customer’s general feel for the interaction. The truth, however, is that the end of a relationship with a customer is actually more important than its beginning. What they are left with at the end is what will endure in their minds.

The same rule goes whenever you are presenting your next plans, interacting with a client or servicing a member. Whereas you may be tempted to play your best cards from the get-go, it would be wiser to hold these off for later, ensuring that you end on a high note. People have a natural preference for improvement. Ensuring that you are able to keep the interaction on an ascending curve and to finish off on particularly good news towards the end, for example, will have much more impact than extraordinary first impressions which are spoiled by a disappointing ending.

Hence, beware of giving first impressions too much importance at the expense of last impressions. The latter is what truly stick. Better start small, progress gradually and impress towards the finish line!

For more on this, read Richard B. Chase and Sriram Dasu’s article.

 We are the sports practice of global advisory firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe. We provide strategy and communication advice for sports clients around the world. For more information: