A good first impression is one of the most important things when building business relationships through networking. It’s an obvious statement to make, but important practices need to be stated over and over again and practiced over and over again so that you are always reminded before you begin to speak.
To figure out the best way to make a first impression, you need to realize the ways that you can make a bad impressions. One of the first things that come to mind is the countless cold calls I receive at the office. Granted, telemarketing has its place in business and obviously works when used effectively, but telemarketing could definitely use some improvement when making first impressions. If it were perfect, I would give only ten seconds to most cold calls before excusing myself from the call.
If you’re not sure how to pronounce someone’s name, have them say it in their own introduction.
When building business relationships, it’s always nice to already know someone’s name because a friend or colleague referred you to someone. You have a name, and using that name can create an aura of familiarity with a stranger right out of the gate, which is great! But if you mispronounce that name, it can lead to embarrassment on both sides, and that can be quite a hole to climb out of to start a conversation.
If you’re unsure of a name, introduce yourself, have them introduce themselves, and then continue to progress the familiarity by mentioning your mutual acquaintance. Now you have a connection, which is just as good, if not better, than being the random stranger that knows your name.