WHEN we meet someone new, we decide whether we ‘like’ them in less than three seconds. We have to like someone if we are to trust them later. Remember, indifferent or negative first impressions are difficult to turn around.
To build immediate rapport, be prepared for introductions, make eye contact and smile, introduce yourself and shake hands (make sure yours is not sweaty), greet warmly and remember the person’s name – after all, it is very important to them.
Ask a question about them and start to mirror their body language and voice – people like to talk about themselves especially if you seem interested in them, and you should be as there are so many interesting people to meet.
And practise these techniques with your family and friends while having some stock questions ready. In short, as in most things, be prepared.
(Extract from The Naked Coach)