make an impression

make an impression

Produce a strong effect on one. This phrase is often qualified with an adjective such as good, bad, strong, or the like. For example, He tried to make a good impression on his girlfriend's parents, or Be careful or you'll make a bad impression on the jury, or You made quite an impression with that speech. [Mid-1600s]
See also: impression, make
References in classic literature ?
She listened, she bowed, and she smiled--and, sometimes, she answered; but it was evidently without meaning or interest, until, wearied with his fruitless efforts to make an impression, and perhaps with a hope of exciting a little jealousy, he turned his attention to her more lively companion.
To make an impression on the outsider, you've got to "hit 'em where it hurts.