Many elements need to come together in order to make a positive, lasting first impression and having standout business cards is a great way to start. However, once cards have been exchanged and the conversation starts, there are other techniques you can use to be more memorable, in a positive way of course! Here’s a list of MOO tips to stay on track:
Get your business card right: Keep it brief. Filter through the information and make sure to only include what is necessary. Name, company, title and website URL are great details to include. But what about phone number, email, and social handles? This becomes a bit trickier because, while being reachable is important, it is key to focus on methods of communication that are actively used. So if one is always checking Twitter but never answers the phone, skip the phone number and include the Twitter handle and so on. It is also recommended to keep all information on one side for ease of use.
Do your research: Take a moment ahead of a first meeting to learn some key facts about the people in the room and the business they operate. The business website is a great place to start, and scanning the latest blog post, newsletter or media release will tell you what’s important to them right now.
Listen: Make a conscious effort to listen to what people are saying. It’s easy to forget things when nervous, like a person’s name. It helps to repeat what they say or ask related questions, and it also shows what they say is valued.
Say their name: This links back nicely to tip number one, but one should not go overboard. Used sparingly it is a good technique to show they have full attention.
Careful with the jokes: Humour can work fantastically to break the ice, but after that it should be used sparingly until there is a clear sense of tone to the conversation, and the personality of the individual.
Be yourself: Most people can behave differently depending on whether they’re in a business environment or at home, but don’t be afraid to let the second shine through. People want to meet the real person and it will help take some of the stress out of the conversation – and help both parties to relax!
Follow up: Sometimes, even more memorable than the first impression, can be the second. Take the time to send a brief follow up note after the initial meeting (a handwritten one can be an even more memorable touch). This will not only serve as a reminder of the meeting, but will also show willingness to go above and beyond.