How to make an unforgettable first impression
In order to make a first impression on the interlocutor, you need a strong handshake, acceptable appearance and eye contact. These are basic principles, and you probably know them. All this is true, but not enough.
If you want to be remembered by the interlocutor after the first short contact, you should think not only about how to look, but also what to say and how to say it. Here are some tips from Annette Grand, who has spent several decades teaching American businessmen how to behave in public.
Go to the individual
Do not hesitate to Supplement the professional approach with details that are not directly related to it.
In the Godfather, Michael Corleone tells his brother, ” Nothing personal, Sonny, just business.” This is one of the most famous and false phrases in world cinema, which for some reason began to be perceived as an axiom. Although don Corleone was being ungodly.
And in real life, the rule “work separately, personal life separately” has not worked for a long time.
If you want your interlocutor to remember you, feel free to mix personal and business, but in the right proportion.
If in the first few minutes of communication you try to translate the conversation exclusively to the personal level, you will look unprofessional or irrelevant to the situation.
If you pretend to be a robot and contact only on a professional level, this will certainly be acceptable, but it is unlikely that you will leave a strong impression.
In practice, this, fortunately, does not mean that you should frighten a stranger with the details of your personal life.
Adding a little personal to a formal conversation is not difficult, and you don’t need any preparation other than the desire to be a little more friendly, open and attentive to details.
When talking to potential clients, future employees, or Moscow bosses, the CEO of a regional representative office of a large Russian company always mixed personal and business. But she did it unobtrusively.
Let’s say a potential client was engaged in suburban construction. And our heroine is building a large dacha in a picturesque place outside the city.
A professional is always pleased when someone asks him for advice in choosing a contractor or building materials, or unobtrusively discusses the difficulties of doing business with him. Therefore, a formal conversation between two people who were completely unfamiliar with each other quickly passed from the formal stage to the informal one.
Or, for example, the Moscow management sent a new middle Manager to her company. This was a fairly common practice that kept the CEOs in the regions in good shape.
The Director always called the new person first and always found common topics for conversation, not disdaining to discuss the peculiarities of the climate in the new employee’s hometown, told how things are with real estate prices, what with queues for kindergartens in her city, etc.
And it worked. The first impression that a person had of the new boss was very bright and almost always positive.
Elements of reaching the limits of a formal conversation should not be a blank, but should remain part of the natural process of communication. But it is important that they are the link between business and personal life.
This technique is also great for starting relationships with complete strangers, if you can catch anything that might arouse their interest in return.
Add some compelling statistics
Public speakers and authors of texts are often advised to use exciting facts or provide impressive statistics in order to attract the attention of the audience.
The same technique is applicable and effective for one-on-one communication. If you are able to impress someone with data that your interlocutor has never heard of before, this will help you stay in their memory regardless of the context.
And the closer the impressive statistics are to his business or life, the better.
For example, a client who works for an HR Agency said that his firm was able to consistently predict whether a particular employee would be successful after their first thirteen weeks of work. Not twelve or fourteen weeks, but thirteen-and this strange knowledge stuck in my head.
Statistics are not just interesting in themselves — they can give some impetus to understanding what may be important for me and my own business.
“Did you know that… ?»
This doesn’t have to be a topic that is directly related to your interlocutor’s business. This may just be an interesting fact that is relevant to the situation, which ideally can be used in life.
Let’s say you know that your interlocutor is passionate about a healthy lifestyle, follows the weight and is obsessed with diets.
“Did you know that reducing the number of calories consumed by 30% significantly prolongs life and improves its quality?
This is the result of a very long scientific study. The study, however, was conducted on monkeys. But the result is very impressive, and the species of monkeys is as close to humans as possible in terms of genotype. So it seems that diets make sense not only for beauty!»
Of course, you should not use this technique outside the context of the conversation, otherwise you risk looking like a complete jerk. But carefully, appropriately, without falling out of context and skillfully mixing personal and business — you can!
If the conversation sticks, the opportunity to screw in something interesting, not always directly related to the work, will appear sooner or later — so use it!
If you succeed — you will surely be remembered.
If you want to make a lasting first impression, learn to speak briefly but succinctly.
Put as much meaning as possible into as few words as possible. If you talk too long, you may be remembered, but not in the way you would like to be remembered. People will just want to escape and run away from you far away. Accurate observation and attention to detail — that’s what you really need.
In a special room in my entrance sits a guard who, like almost all of his colleagues, is very concerned about his status and usually does not hurry to open the front door if you forgot the key to the intercom at home.
In addition, even polite and friendly security guards often change and can not quickly remember all the residents.
When once again, having forgotten the key to the intercom at home, I guiltily smiled at one of these guys through the glass wall of his closet, so that he still opened the door to the entrance, I noticed that he was sitting on a very strange chair with a carved back.
“Cool chair!— that’s all I said.
It turned out that our new security guard is interested in restoring furniture, found this old chair in the trash, put a lot of time and work into it, and I just became a passer-by who noticed it.
And what is the result? I do not just open the door with a smile (I always forget the key, and the intercom in our apartment is disabled), but now I know the “secret code” with which I no longer need the key.
So, in order to make a strong first impression, it is not enough to look right and differ in a strong handshake, for girls, the latter does not matter at all.
The strength of the first impression depends on how convincing and strong a connection you can establish within a few minutes of conversation.
Yes, time is playing against you. But in order to use the above strategies, you do not need a lot of time. You can become a persuasive and memorable conversationalist quite quickly and without much preparation.