A few weeks back, my 18-year-old son and I went down to Orlando to see BOSTON in concert.

Thirty-five years earlier, I attended one of their performances…and that momentous day was one that will live with me forever! It was not my first concert, but it was probably the most unforgettable.

Jacksonville, Florida…April 8, 1977.

That remarkable evening, BOSTON led in with their Billboard Hot 100’s single, Long Time, and the first impression of the crowd roaring, screaming…anticipating…lasted my entire life. To this day, I remember scanning the crowd, soaking it all in…grinning ear to ear.

On July 3rd, as my son and I enthusiastically screamed at the top of our lungs, Tom Scholz, patriarch of the BOSTON family, led the evening with the National Anthem followed by Rock N Roll Band. The crowd was electric with excitement…and I reminisced back to that day in 1977.

Such great memories.

As I did at that first concert, I panned the audience, and I couldn’t help but notice the 50 to 60-ish average age group in attendance. Men, women and their grown children…all screaming, clapping, jumping, fist pumping, and some were even dancing in the aisles.

I was also secretly scanning the back of the concert hall for the EMTs…there were plenty on hand.

My mind wandered, thinking not only HOW we all made it out of the 70s…but, more importantly, “How did we manage to achieve success SINCE the 70s?”

Like me… these “Boomers” have been building careers, raising a family, and creating more memories.

In 1977, I was seventeen, and, at that point in my life, never in my wildest dreams could I imagine my life 35 years in the future.  That night in Orlando, as I kept pondering my personal success and becoming more curious about the crowd’s achievements…the questions started flooding in:

What have I learned in those thirty-five years?
What advice has helped me create successful, first impressions?
What have I done to create long-lasting professional memories?
What guidance would I give anyone who wants to impress a crowd?
And, what professional advice have I passed on to my own children?

Here are my five key first impression memory-makers:

  1. Look them in the eye
  2. Offer a firm handshake
  3. It’s all about them, not about me
  4. Smile
  5. Be on time…every time

What if, every single time you introduced yourself to someone, they had the same extraordinary mind-blowing first impression experience as I did with BOSTON in 1977? You’d be certainly unforgettable, right? And, ask yourself…what if that first impression lasted…a lifetime?

BOSTON reminded me that I have come a long way since that first concert, and I have aged gracefully, both professionally and personally. I’ve learned along the way that building relationships starts with leaving an impression…and a darn good one.

Tom Scholz, although he never met me, impressed me. He left me wanting more.

BOSTON’s Rock N Roll Band lyrics say it best:

“Everybody’s waitin’…”
“Gettin’ crazy…”
“Anticipating…”

Perhaps thirty-five years from now, someone will think back to the ‘rock star moment’ when you left them dancing in the aisles!

Steve Shepherd

About Steve Shepherd


Steve’s entire career has been focused on helping companies to increase sales. He has sold, managed, trained and coached sales and sales management with noteworthy results. Steve’s results-oriented, highly interactive style has the ability to increase sales for many companies statewide. He makes sure the workshops are productive, interactive, and, above all, fun.