When it comes to making a great first impression, would you applaud yourself, or give yourself a thumbs down? We’re on the subject of trade shows, where you have about four seconds to get someone to stop and talk, and about thirty seconds to engage a person in a good conversation. The same timeframes hold true for a networking or business encounter. Do you make the most of that small window of opportunity? Here are some pointers to make sure you do:
1. Stand up.
If you are sitting and someone approaches you and introduces him or herself, automatically stand up. This puts you at the same eye level as the other person and is respectful.
2. Good eye contact and smile.
Make sure you give the person you are meeting the attention he or she deserves. There is nothing ruder than glancing around the booth or the room to see if there is anyone better to talk to than the person right in front of you. Smile and be friendly!
3. Firm grip.
It’s very disheartening when someone has a terrible handshake. There is a proper way to shake someone’s hand. Make sure the “V” between your thumb and forefinger connect with the other person’s “V.” Shake the person’s hand firmly two to three times and then let go. A good rule of thumb is to match the other person’s firmness of grip.
4. Say yours and repeat theirs.
Enunciate your name and repeat his or her name to help you remember it. You can also take this a step further and use his or her name in the first sentence of dialog. If you happen to forget a name, don’t be afraid to ask for it again. There is a chance he or she forgot yours, too.
These pointers may seem small, but can have a huge impact on your future business opportunities. You can’t erase a bad first impression once it’s made. Put these tips into practice and give your ability to make a great first impression a big thumbs up!
Marisa Pensa, CEO
Methods in Motion
Methods in Motion is a sales training company that helps clients achieve measurable increases in sales.