You have probably wondered what is the most important thing during important business meetings. As a young, inexperienced entrepreneur, you probably think it is:
- The plan of the meeting
- Or the presentation of the project
Maybe you even guess it is
- The closure of the meeting that is doing all the job
But you are wrong!
The most important thing during business interviews is actually the first impression you make.
Amy Cuddy is Harvard Business School professor. She has been studying the art of first impression for more than ten years. She says that the most important question persons pose after meeting a person are:
- Can I trust this person?
- Can I respect this person?
Ideally, everyone wants to be perceived as if they have warmth and competence.
But how do you achieve that?
By practicing a bit on your first impression of course.
It is the first thing we notice when meeting someone, right? Is it too firm or too weak? It gives out the wrong impression. Practice it with some of your friends who will be sincere with you. You don’t want to give out the impression of a dominant person. But you don’t want to be an insecure person that has the weakest handshake ever. Think about your handshake as something that should be warm, friendly and most of all – sincere.
How do you treat your acquaintances?
Do you treat all people the same or according to their status? It can be a huge advantage or, a big failure. If you treat the people according to who they are and what they do for living, it can bring to a lot of misunderstandings. Imagine meeting someone and being rude to them, and not being aware that they are, let us say, someone at the top of the company you should cooperate with. It isn’t a good sign if someone notices what you are doing. And it brings you negative first impression points that you can hardly wash away. That is why you should treat all the people like potential valuable connections.
In order to connect with people and make a great first impression, you should stay interested!
The most important thing to do is to:
- Ask more questions
- Demand answers
- Keep the conversation alive
If the conversation isn’t flowing right from the start, give it another try. Try to make a time extension of the first conversation. It is only in that way that you will be able to get an accurate image of the person you are speaking to. And the same goes in the other way as well.
Just remember that you do not have to be overly joyful or overly serious. Just be yourself. Stay true to yourself. And be sincere in what you do. If the other side recognizes sincerity, you will just get more points in the first impression!