It takes more than a handshake and a business card to leave a good first impression! It you want to make long-lasting professional connections and relate better to your clients, adopt these four first-impression habits:
Have Confident Body Language: Your body may say what your mouth does not. Convey openness and confidence by smiling and giving a firm handshake when you meet people. Whether it’s the first time or the hundredth time, look someone in the eye when speaking with them. If giving eye contact intimidates you, practice with friends or by looking at your reflection in the mirror to develop this skill. On the one hand, hunched shoulders and wandering eyes suggest that you do not have confidence in yourself and your abilities. On the other hand, if you present yourself with relaxed shoulders and open, not closed, arms, people will be drawn to your confident, friendly energy. Likewise, pay attention to the body language of others! This can help you determine if your conversation is going well or if maybe you should change the topic to something more mutually interesting.
Listen and Respond: You don’t need to launch into your life story to impress people. In fact, when meeting others, it is often in your best your interest to listen more than you speak. Ask questions that convey you are listening closely and genuinely interested. By listening, rather than talking about yourself, you create the opportunity to learn about the many ways that this person could benefit from your assistance in the future.
Dress the Part: Most modern professional settings have implicit or explicit dress codes. Whenever possible, research the dress code before entering a new office or professional space. If the dress code is not available, consult with someone you trust. It never hurts to air on the side of caution and pack an extra pair of heels or blazer in your car, either!
Remember Their Name: Using someone’s name in a conversation is one of the best ways to show you care. When people know you care, you are far more likely to receive the same respect and attention in return. Recalling names is of course challenging, but there are many tips and tricks you can adopt to get your memory up-to-speed! To help yourself remember names, make a habit of creating memorable jingles with the person’s name as soon as you meet. Try to also tie the mnemonic phrase in with their appearance. For example, “Ross needs to floss,” or “Barry’s hair is bare.” Our brains need repetition to hold onto information, so creating and repeating an easily recalled phrase is a great way to ingrain names in your mind.
Bonus Tip: An introduction goes a long way! If possible, ask your mentor or mutual friend to introduce you to people you would like to make a long-term connection with. An introduction will give your reputation a boost and make you more memorable.
Visit the Syncis blog at syncis.com/blog to learn more valuable professional tips.