I was speaking with one of my incredible clients last week and we began to touch upon how one delivers a powerful and memorable business encounter. What do I mean?
You know when you meet someone and they instantly energize you? Every interaction is not only a positive experience, but also a life-changing one? Where you walk away and say quietly to yourself, "Who is that guy/gal?" You find yourself shaking hands and realizing that you're getting more than you gave?
We've all met people like this. And many people have related that I make them feel that way. So I sat down over the weekend and tried to dissect exactly what I do when I meet people (for the first time and even subsequent meetings).
The best part is they become instant acolytes and customers of YOU. That's a good thing.
It can be broken into four distinct areas:
Summon up the forces within you and exude copious amount of energy when you meet someone. Enthusiasm, vibe, electricity . . . whatever you want to call it . . . you need to grow it within you and then focus it on the person.
A smile, a hearty handshake, a quickness to your step — much of it initially is body language. Focus intently on the person and look them in the eye while you smile.
Talk a bit faster when you first meet and really pound your language with active tones, "REALLY glad to meet you Tom . . . I can't think of a more BEAUTIFUL day outside!"
This one is key — many people feel it's what you know or who you know that makes you stand out and successful in today's marketplace. Although they are important, I feel to truly succeed, you need to exude authenticity.
Simply — speak and act truly about your own feelings, thoughts, and desires. Don't hide behind a facade or mask — people can smell it a mile away.
Be yourself — show others who you really are and what you can do. You'll find you will be instantly accepted for being authentic — a rarity in today's business world.
Take a concerted interest in the other person — ask questions, listen to their answers, and then interject with follow up questions/builds.
An example: "So where did you go to school? Ripon College? In Wisconsin? I went to Ripon College too! What year did you graduate? Did you know Joe Bestul? Who were your favorite professors? Isn't this AMAZING?"
Try to CONNECT with them — ask loads of questions and find areas of shared interests which will bind you together. Once you make the connection — trust follows.
Don't leave any interaction, meeting, lunch . . . anything . . . without next steps. If it's a brief encounter — set up a lunch or coffee. If it's a meeting — what will you do for them?
Ensure any interaction has consequence — and hopefully where you provide something for THEM. In doing so, your relationship will broaden, expand, and get stronger.
Try to offer up an emailed article, an introduction, a strong referral — something to make sure you walk away giving more than you received. That's important.
What other areas might I've missed that you find critical to a powerful interaction?