As an entrepreneur and business owner, meeting new people usually comes easily. You know how to connect and engage with potential clients or partners, and you have done it enough that it becomes second nature.
However, as an entrepreneur and business owner, are you always in the process of learning and growing? Could it be that there are a few tweaks that you could make so that your engagement is productive, pleasant and leaves a positive impression?
DON’T do these 5 things when you meet people:
- Look away as you are giving a limp handshake. Lack of eye contact can raise suspicion, shows a lack of confidence and a limpy handshake communicates not good things. Plus it feels icky. Yuck.
- Making fun or making a joke of their first and last name even if it sounds humorous.People are important and every person you meet is your superior in some way or another. You don’t know what you can learn from who you meet, no matter where they come from. Everyone is important and names are important.
- Showing up and throwing up. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Ask the person you meet questions about THEM, not trying to impress them and monopolizing the conversation about all your accomplishments, etc.
- Assuming that the person you meet is of a certain cultural ethnicity and asking them if they are, even if they have the characteristics of that cultural ethnicity. For example, asking an Asian, “Are you Korean?” and that person replies, “No, I am not, I am Japanese.” And your smart answer is, “Oh, well you look Korean.” Can you say offensive? Better question: “What is your cultural background?” or even simply “Where are you or your family from?” Much less offensive! Just because all the Asian people you might know are Korean, does not make every Asian person you meet Korean. Enough said.
- BONUS TIP: Even if a woman is obviously pregnant, NEVER ask when she is is due! Let her tell you that when her bundle of joy is arriving!
- Ending the conversation without offering to be of help in some way. Leave your business card and let them know if you can help them in some capacity, to contact you. Even if they don’t contact you, you will have left them on a positive note as someone who was genuinely interested in adding value.
Don’t do these 5 things when you meet people and watch the quality of your interactions improve.
What other “do not do” tips would you say are important when you meet new people who could potentially be clients or business partners?
I would love to hear your comments.