1. Say Little, Listen a LotAsk smart questions about the company, the project, or the position. Make eye contact and show positive body language to show your genuine interest.
You never get a second chance at a first impression, as the old saying goes, so you really can’t afford to screw it up. That rule holds true for business relationships, from the initial job interview to interactions with colleagues to exploratory meetings with prospective customers or partners (not to mention your personal life). The basics of making a good first impression should be clear to most adults – be on time, be up to speed on the material at hand, and look halfway decent (also known as the 3 Ps: punctual, prepared, and presentable). But what else can you do to make sure to get off on the right foot in almost any business situation? Consultant Carol Roth’s list of first-impression tips is built on common sense and good manners, with a dash of conference-room gamesmanship thrown in to seal the deal. Roth’s new book, The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business (BenBella Books) is available now. To read her plain-spoken blog, click here.
Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.
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