As just about everyone knows, first impressions are important but how do you make a good first impression?

Here are a few pointers for getting off to a good start when you just meet a client or other associate:

  • Try to focus on what the other person is saying which sounds obvious but when a person you talk to is telling you about a trip he just took, and that reminds you of a story about a bad experience you had with an airline ticket clerk you told off, try to leave the storytelling to the other person. Why? Because when you meet someone, you don’t know what kind of impression this type of story will leave. As a matter of fact, you should encourage the other person to talk about himself or herself instead of trying to make yourself the center of attention.

-Another thing to keep in mind is that you should try to mask your anxiety a bit. If you have jittery body movements or talk too fast, you might cause the other person some discomfort. Try not to come across as an interrogator.

-If you meet someone new while you’re in a bad mood, try to suppress your mood and fake your way through the experience.It’s not better to be honest in all cases, though generally it is good advice, because in this situation, someone that doesn’t know you may not attribute your bad mood to a one-time passing event, but they may potentially see you as a negative person. So whatever mood you’re in, see if you can think of something positive to kick off a new conversation. If you mistakenly kick off with a negative tone or comment, be sure to apologize to them, possibly laughing it off with some humour.

  • Making eye contact, smiling and keeping good posture will most likely help the experience.
  • Use flattery but sparingly – you don’t want to come off sounding like you compliment everyone who passes by you.

Adapted from Psychology Today

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