The connections you forge over the course of building your business are the lifeblood of that business. In a recent 1-in-3 video I outlined a few of my most valuable tips to help you connect with others and make relationships that will benefit your business as well as those you connect with. Here are five of those tips!
Tip #1: Smile.
Nothing puts people at ease and welcomes you into a group like a smile. Take advantage of the fact that humans display what is called a “fear smile”, which is a social cue whereby a new visitor to a group will smile to show they are not a threat and to put them on the right side of those already in the group. Wherever you meet, whenever you interact with someone, a smile goes a long way in establishing warmth and trust between individuals.
Tip #2: Match Handshakes.
We were all taught, men at least, that a firm handshake is key to gaining the respect of those you meet. While a firm handshake does convey a certain level of dominance, and an overly firm handshake hurts as much as it conveys an inflated sense of dominance, matching handshake strength is a surefire way to show that you consider yourself and the person you’re meeting to be equals. If someone does come in with a hand-crushing shake, you have options. Touch their elbow for a few seconds, or pull out “the politician’s handshake” by resting your left hand on top of the handshake. Both of these moves convey warmth and respect, while also mitigating the power-play of your partner's vice-like grip.
Tip #3: Mirror.
Mirror the body language of the people you’re meeting with. Match their energy. Speech patterns, movements, try to match what your partner is throwing out. This technique helps make the person you’re meeting feel more comfortable in your presence- you’re essentially letting them know that you’re just like them and you aren’t going to try anything shifty.
Tip #4: Use Their Name.
There are plenty of studies out there showing that if you use someone’s name they are more likely to trust you and feel comfortable around you. Remembering and using someone’s name builds trust by building a sense of personal closeness. It’s also a sign of respect— you meet dozens of people every day, so it’s always valuable to show each one of them that their name is worth remembering and worth using. Try using their name three times in the first two minutes of conversation- it’ll show you care and help you remember their name for future reference.
Tip #5: Be Interested, Not Interesting.
One of the most important keys to ingratiating yourself and making valuable connections is to take an interest in what other people have to say. The more time you spend listening to people and asking questions, the more you get to know them and the more they appreciate your presence. Just like the other tips on this list, this one helps build a personal rapport between you and the person you’re meeting. Everyone likes to talk about themselves, that’s a given. Making a special effort to listen can be the difference between a memorable and valuable interaction, and a failed connection.
Make use of these tips every time you meet someone and you’ll be sure to see results from those interactions. Personal relationships are the building blocks of any successful enterprise, and doing everything you can to make those interactions as valuable as you can for both yourself and the people around you is always an excellent strategy to propel your success.