The Initial Introduction
It's a fact that the initial introduction phase of any business relationship can make or break it. First impressions are crucial in the business world and can have an extraordinary effect on careers and on whole organizations. From time to time we all may feel a little uneasy or have been through some awkward moments during business meetings or introductions, specially when you're meeting people for the first time.
The following principles can have a dramatic, positive effect on the first impression you make when you meet and greet new Business partners, Associates, clients ...etc. and manage meetings more effectively.
Making a great first impression
Make a powerful, positive first impression by establishing appropriate eye contact, avoid using slang words like " Awesome" , and have the right “support materials” at hand.
Know who should be introduced first. The order is as follows , start with the most senior person and in case there is no one more senior than the other , start with the person you have the least relation with.
Offer a good handshake; make sure your grip is confident.
Your handshake says a lot about you. A firm handshake (without pumping or clutching) shows confidence, warmth, openness, and sincerity; a weak, limp handshake indicates just the opposite. A bone-crusher handshake tells people you're a dominating, insensitive type.
Guidelines of the perfect handshake
1. Extend your hand and grip the other person’s hand in such a way that both are pushed all the way in to meet web-to-web and your thumbs are facing straight up.
2. Shake just a couple of times in a vertical up-and-down motion.
3. End the handshake cleanly, before the introduction is over.
If you want to count, a good handshake is held for 2 to 3 seconds.
4.Manage unconventional handshake situations by following the other person’s lead.
Use mistakes/blunders, specifically those done in a roomful of people as an opportunity to display grace, wit, and poise.
Any blunder or embarrassing mistake can be turned into a positive experience if it’s handled gracefully and with quick thinking on your feet. Explain your mistake with grace. Rather than getting tongue-tied with apologies, over explaining, or trying to evade the situation, issue a concise, poised recovery. Acknowledge the misstep. Say you’re sorry—then move on! or ask for help when needed if you misstated something or couldn't reply to a specific question.
Never ask “Who are you?” Find creative ways to determine the names of people to whom you’ve been introduced before but couldn't recall their names.
One way of refreshing your memory is to ask the person what has been going on since you last talked. Their response may refresh your memory and you might remember their name.
Quick Tips to Remember Names
The ability to remember names and titles, especially in a large group, makes a lasting impression. If you can master this new form of professional polish, you will present yourself with confidence and authority — and outclass the competition. Remembering names is a skill, and one that you can acquire:
1. Repeat the person’s name a few times to yourself after you’re introduced.
2. Use the person’s name immediately in the conversation after an introduction, this also builds better rapport with the person.
3. Immediately introduce that new person to someone else you know. If you don’t have an opportunity to speak up immediately, you may want to try finding a word association with the person’s name, such as “Ted—shaven head.”
4. Jot down the person’s name, if you happen to have a pad and pencil.
5. Actively listen
Don’t use peoples' first names unless you’re invited to do so.
Present a single business card; follow the lead of a higher-ranking person, rather than asking for his or her business card.
If you enter a group in which introductions have already been made, introduce yourself. This is always appropriate and in most instances expected.
Order of introductions:
Introducing someone junior to someone senior
In business, introductions are based on a person’s rank and position in a company. Whether that person is a man or a woman, young or old, makes no difference. You always introduce, or present, a “lesser” person to a more senior person. You name the senior person first and the person who is being introduced, or presented, last.
Introducing two people of equal rank
When you’re introducing two people of equal rank in the corporate hierarchy,introduce the person who is not in your company to the person in your company.
When introducing a younger person to an older person, use the older person's name first.
When introducing a peer in your firm to an outsider, introduce the outstider's name first.
when introducing a nonofficial to an official, introduce the official's name first.
When introducing a company executive to customer or client, introduce the client first.
A Rule of Good Manners
Just remember that the main rule of good manners in greeting people and making introductions is always considering everyone. Even if you don't know the precise etiquette, if you put people at ease and show proper respect, your actions will be acceptable.
For more on business etiquette, check out our Business Etiquette instant download training package.