Posted by Todd Smith
When we meet people, whether it be in person or over the phone, we intuitively and oftentimes within seconds, form an opinion of them. Here’s a secret: they do the same thing when meeting us.
If we are intentional, we can use this natural tendency to positively influence how people view us. And if we are extra intentional and focus on the 12 lessons outlined in this two-part series, we can accelerate this process and build rapport in a very short period of time.
In yesterday’s lesson, I reviewed with you the first six ways, and in today’s lesson, I will cover the remaining six. Whether you are trying to make a great first impression on your date or with a prospective client, applying these lessons will allow you to quickly connect with people.
7. Repeat Their Names— Have you ever met someone for the first time who hardly looked you in your eyes, said the standard “nice to meet you“ greeting without any authenticity behind their words, and couldn’t remember your name five seconds later? What impression did this person make on you?
When you greet people, make it a point of saying their names in your initial conversation. For example, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sharon.” And then when the conversation concludes, use their name again, such as, “Sharon, it was a real pleasure getting to know you.” When you say people’s names, you are showing them they are important to you.
8. Be Friendly—While this seems so obvious, so few people are intentional about coming across as friendly when meeting people. Most people act like it is an everyday occurrence and don’t think about the impression they are making on others. When people are friendly, it is generally just during their initial greeting, but then they forget it’s important.
Not only do you want to be intentional about being friendly when you meet people, but you want to focus on being friendly during your entire time together. When you are authentically friendly, it is reflected through your facial expressions, body language, voice tone, and the words you speak. Think of the friendliest people you know and learn from their example.
9. Show an Interest in Them—One of the keys, if not the most important, in building successful relationships is your ability to show a sincere interest, both in the person and things that are important to that person. The key to this point is to focus on them, NOT you!
By expressing genuine interest in someone’s qualities, background, stories, hobbies, career, or family you are demonstrating an interest in them.
When I was in real estate, I would pay attention to the things in people’s homes because it told me what is important to them. I then asked them questions about these things and in most cases they lit up like a light bulb and talked with great enthusiasm about these things. It was one thing I focused on in EVERY appointment because it made a difference.
10. Listen With Interest—Being a good listener is one of the most important skills you can master if you want to advance your career and build meaningful relationships. Listening is more than keeping your mouth shut while the other person is talking. When you REALLY listen, you demonstrate your interest in what is being said and you show your respect for the individual saying it.
When you are having a conversation with people, they can instinctively tell how interested you really are in the conversation. This is communicated through your body language, the questions you ask, and the expressions on your face. This is easy for me if it’s a subject in which I am interested. If the subject is not of interest, I have to be extra careful about how I am projecting myself.
11. Compliment Them—When people take the time to offer you a sincere compliment, how does that make you feel about them? Are you naturally drawn to people who speak positively of you? When you meet people and begin talking, look for the things on which you can compliment them. When you identify something, then look for the right time to offer your compliment with a feeling of genuineness and authenticity.
When I am intentional about building relationships with people, I am always looking for the little ways I can compliment or encourage them.
12. Model Them—Have you ever noticed how you are drawn to people with whom you share things in common? This is called the law of attraction and means that you will inevitably attract people into your life that are similar to you. Modeling is a technique I learned from Anthony Robbins, which is when you mirror or match the non-verbal and verbal communication of others.
As an example, when I am around people who talk softly, then I moderate my voice and speak softly. If they talk slowly, then I will do my best to match their speed and speak slowly. If they lean back in their chair, then I will casually lean back. If they lean forward, I will wait a couple of seconds, then slowly lean forward. Just remember, the more people intuitively feel you have in common, the more they will be attracted to you.
If you will work on the 12 rapport accelerators I have shared with you over the last two days, people will be drawn to you like a magnet. If you are intentional about using these lessons in your career, there is no doubt you will enjoy greater success. If you use them in your personal life, you will build more meaningful relationships and become a more valued friend.
I want to challenge you to focus on these 12 lessons when meeting people this next week. Let me also encourage you to learn more about each of these lessons by reading my related posts below.
There are many circumstances where the speed at which you are able to connect with someone will influence the outcome you achieve.
To read Part 1, click here.
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.
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