Last month, we talked about the importance of making a good first impression. I shared the first four tips: “Dress for success; Make eye contact; Shake hands firmly; Smile”. Here are the last three tips you should consider as you meet someone for the first time:
5. Call the person by name: Everyone likes the sound of his own name. Making a good first impression requires you to speak the person’s name…and remember it! How often have you been introduced to someone, carry on a brief conversation and realize moments later that you have already forgotten his name? This is the hardest…and most rewarding…part of making a good first impression. For when it is time to move on, you want to call that person by his name again as you leave. This takes focus and commitment. You are not at this meeting or function just to have a good time. You are there to make a good first impression. So use whatever technique works best for you. But make it a point to call the person by name as you meet and when you leave.
6. Listen: This next tip on making a good first impression seems the easiest, but it isn’t. As you are in conversation with this person whom you have just met, listen sincerely to what he is saying. Continue to make eye contact. Don’t scan the room or check your watch or pull out your cell phone. Listen intently to what he/she has to say. Nod your head in support. Ask a question to encourage him to carry the conversation. Respond thoughtfully when you are asked a question. Make this new acquaintance feel as if he/she is the most important person in the room. And they will think the same of you!
7. Remember: Often, I return to a community for another meeting two or three weeks later. Perhaps now the prospective client is our new client. Or the volunteer we enlisted for one of our campaigns is now on the team. The next time we meet, I make it a point to call him or her by name and recall some of the conversation we had when we were last together. This is the part of making a good impression that few accomplish. The ones who do are in a class all by themselves.
Every time you meet someone you will make an impression, either good or bad. Making a good first impression is the way you want to be remembered. Hopefully, these tips will ensure your success!