He is an important person. He approaches, greets you and you extend your hand. Watch out! In 10 seconds he already has an opinion about you.
He is an important person. He approaches, greets you and you extend your trembling hand. Watch out! In 10 seconds he already has an opinion about you.
It happens in every first encounter: the process of the first impression comes into play, and whether you want it or not, you are inside. Forget that you will break the ice by opening your mouth; It is your body language and, above all, your face, which will determine the initial impression your interlocutor will have on you.
“You will never have a second chance to get a good first impression.” I mention it in every training I give in executive image when the time comes to talk about the power of body language.
You cannot tell your client: “Would you mind if we postpone this meeting? I am not getting a good first impression of myself. I feel nervous, insecure… I'm generally not like that, but today I don't know what happened to me. ” Of course not! If you are there, it is because you have struggled to get that encounter, or because your work asks you to engage in that interaction. So you need to learn as soon as possible to emerge forward and victorious.
The cost of giving a bad impression
More than once you will be mistakenly judged by the first impression your body language causes. Do you seem kind or annoying? Do you look glad to be there or not? Do you show yourself wanting to start an initial communication? Starting today, you should be much more aware of the power of your nonverbal communication in business. A misinterpretation of you could cost you dearly.
Nobody wants to do business with insecure or inexperienced people. Also, there will hardly be people willing to pay someone who shows little interest. We all want to feel confident of being with the right person for the solution we are looking for.
First of all, it is important that you stop believing that the first impression is only about your dress. Although it is very relevant, it is one of the many elements that integrate your nonverbal communication. Let's make a little reflection. In each interaction in person the following happens:
- There is a primary eye contact.
- There is a smile or a gesture of seriousness from both sides.
- You read the mood of your interlocutor and he does the same with you.
- Both verbally greet each other with a “Hello” and say their name.
- A professional greeting is given when shaking hands.
All of the above happens in less than 10 seconds. Unconsciously, in this short period both have made an initial judgment of the other. The first impression has been given, and will be the starting point for conversation or negotiation at the door.
Nonverbal communication, key to success
The more you grow professionally, the more social skills you need to deal with people. You do not require a postgraduate or doctorate to establish personal and enjoyable communication with a client; just know how to adapt well to others.
Zig Ziglar, famous motivational leader, speaker and sales specialist, used to say: “If people like you, they will listen to you; but if he trusts you, he will want to do business with you . ”
Take these tips into account:
1) When meeting a person, remember your reflection in the mirror when you are happy and show that face. Smile. You will cause him to perceive that you like the meeting and that you are a friendly person.
2) Introduce yourself with a good volume of voice and say your quiet name. Do not lose eye contact by doing so. It seems obvious, right? See how many people present with you today will say their name with low volume and without seeing you in the eyes. It's not that he doesn't want to communicate with you: he's probably shy or doesn't know how to interact.
3) No matter how complicated your day has been, your interlocutor is not to blame. Be kind, show a positive attitude and take the initiative by extending your hand to greet him. There is a rule in body language: the person with the most energy is the leader, who shows the way, projects safety and takes advantage.
4) Give a greeting of a firm and sure hand (not of thunder-bones or so weak that it projects lack of character).
5) To project security , you need to have confidence in yourself and not rush. Walk calmly and feel in control of the situation. Never look anxious, nervous or hesitant.
6) When sitting, do not stoop or spread on the chair. You are negotiating, not listening to your best friend in your living room.
7) Always ask yourself: “How honest and reliable do I feel?” That is the key to projecting exactly the same.
8) If you agree with what you hear, move your head slightly to prove it.
9) Place your feet in the direction of your interlocutor. This shows interest and respect for the other person.
10) Bring your torso to the other person when you are in the climax of the conversation or comment on the most important points.
Finally, a warning: the body language that persuades is that which is expressed naturally, not mechanized. So learn to interact and make a first encounter a pleasant experience.