It’s that season again. For young people, the recruitment season is about to begin. For professionals, the summer boasts numerous business conferences and events. Of the hundreds of people you inevitably shake hands with at these events, you only ever remember a few – and only contact a fraction of those afterwards. So how can you become that fraction?
Most people will judge you within the first second of meeting you, and their opinion will most likely never change. Making a good first impression is incredibly important – because you only get one shot at it. Here are three ways you can make sure people’s first impression of you is a good one:
1) Ask a Better Opening Question:
I’m sure we have all heard this terribly original question, “What do you do?”
I know I have. Because it asks someone to define themselves (and their worth) by the work they do. Of course, you’ll need to find out this information in a business networking setting, but why not allow yourself to take a more scenic road? What might unfold if you asked this question instead:
“What’s giving you energy these days?”
People love this question. It allows flexibility in how they answer. Suddenly you’re no longer sizing them up for status or power; instead, you’re asking them what makes them feel alive. This is a great question to ask whether you’re talking to an intern or a bigshot CEO. You’re likely to be rewarded with deeper connection and rapport.
And yes, feel free to steal it!
2) Be Interested and Interesting:
We have all had the experience of meeting someone and knowing instantly that they were dragged here by a friend and are just waiting to get out the door and head home. Switch to “curious” rather than “how-soon-can-I-leave” or “I need everyone to notice me.” This can go a long way to make people feel at ease. It’s like turning on an inner smile; suddenly you become more of a potential friend and ally, and less of a threat.
3) Have a Good Business Card:
There’s no better way to make a bad impression than when exchanging business cards. Avoid the following: (a) not have a business card, or (b) have a cheap looking business card. Make sure what you choose says what you want it to say to the people you are meeting for the first time.
Shanghai Metal manufactures Stainless Steel Business Cards, which could be a great way to make a striking first impression. In a world where impressions mean everything, these professional business cards can provide anyone with a unique and powerful tool to achieve this.
You can also read more articles by our team at SMC:
Siobhan R.// SMC Editor