If you want to succeed in business, networking is a pretty big part of the equation. The more people you know, the more opportunities you have to wow people and do good business, after all. Of course, the crucial part you need to get right when you’re networking is that all-important first impression. If you can nail that, there’s every chance you’ll make new clients, contacts and maybe even friends at your networking event.
With that in mind, here are a few things that successful entrepreneurs do to make a great first impression. Follow their lead and you can’t fail:
It’s so simple, but always greeting people with a smile on your face can be very effective in the business world. Why? Because it immediately suggests positivity and most people would far rather spend their time surrounded by other positive people who make them feel good and make them believe that anything is possible. So, if you do nothing else when you approach, at least smile!
A Firm But Friendly Handshake
If you’re rolling your eyes right now, I really can’t blame you because it seems like such a cliche to recommend a firm handshake in 2018. However, it is absolutely true, if you can perfect a handshake that is not limp, nor too tight – which you can do by watching this Scientific Guide to Perfecting the Handshake – you will make those you meet feel that you are powerful, but also very friendly and they will probably want to get to know you more.
Get a First Impression of Them
Instead of hitting up that potential new business partner with your name, address, the names of your cats, how your business is progressing, and a million other things on first meeting them, say “Hello, it’s great to meet you, what’s your name?” then ask them what they do and steer as much of the conversation towards them as you can. That way you don’t look like a self-obsessed individual who is only attending the event to better yourself, and you get to make everyone you meet feel important and listened to, which means they will like you. It’s win-win.
Do Something Unique
If you’re attending a networking event where everyone is going to be vying for attention, do something that will make you stand out. You could, for example, use a card from NFC Direct as a business card, handing that out so that the people you meet can scan it and get information/special promotions, or you could dress differently (within reason) or even just dispense with the small talk and ask a few big questions. Anything you can do to make yourself more memorable than the rest will be really helpful.
Make Eye Contact
You have to be careful with this one because it can make you seem more creepy than anything else, but if you look everyone ou meet in the eye for a second or two, and whenever you’re deep in discussion with them, they’ll feel like they have your full attention and they will like it.
Above all else, you need to be yourself. Be a bigger, bolder, more confident version of yourself if you feel nervous, but do not bring anything fake to the meeting. Most people can spot someone who is insincere from a mile off.
So I hope that gives you some ideas as to how to ace that networking meeting – from a fellow introvert who has to steel herself up every time she goes into a room for the first time. Polish up your First Imrpression and Go get ‘em!