for Successful Meetings and Greetings
workday is a series of meetings and greetings, many of them
initial contacts. Use these simple strategies to make a good
Stand up when you meet someone. This allows you
to engage the person on an equal level, eye to eye. Remaining
seated sends a message that you don’t think the
other person is important enough to warrant the effort
it takes to stand. If you find yourself in a position
where you can’t stand up, like at a crowded conference
table, offer a brief apology and explanation, such as,
“Please excuse me for not getting up. I need more
Smile. Facial expressions say more than words. Look
as if you’re pleased to meet the other person regardless
of whatever else you’re doing. Put a smile on your
face for the person standing before you.
eye contact. Looking at the people you meet says
you’re focused and interested in them. If you stare
off somewhere else, you may appear to be looking for someone
more to your liking.
yourself immediately. As soon as you approach people
you don’t know, or are approached by them,
tell them who you are. Don’t stand around as if
someone else is in charge of introductions.
necessary, include a statement about who you are.
Give more information. “Hello, I’m Mary Jones.
I work for XYZ Corporation.”
Offer a firm handshake. Extend your hand while
greeting someone. The person who puts a hand out first
comes across as confident and at ease. Make sure that
this physical part of your greeting is professional, with
neither a bone-crushing grip nor a limp wrist.
how to make smooth introductions. In business, always
introduce less important people to more important people.
Say the name of the more important person first, followed
by the words, “I’d like to introduce,”
then give the other person’s name. If appropriate,
add something about each person so they will know why
they’re being introduced; this also gives them some
information with which to start a conversation.
who the more important person is. Generally, the
client or the business prospect is more important than
the boss of the person making the introductions. If you
don’t know, or if the two people are at the same
level, introduce the person joining you to the person
you’re already speaking with. Use your judgment;
the goal is for the introductions to be given smoothly
and the people to feel at ease.
attention to names. Focus, concentrate, and repeat
the name as soon as you hear it, as a memory aid.
In some settings, use the first names of people whom
you have just met only after they give you permission.
Not everyone wants to be addressed informally in an initial
encounter. Use your judgment in determining when favoring
formality is better than offending someone by presuming
Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, speaker, and
trainer, and the author of Manners That Sell; Adding the Polish
That Builds Profits. For more information, visit www.mannersthatsell.com.
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