I'm a writer, scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. During the daytime I am advisor to the President of Shenkar College. In the evening I write children's books, satire, and "how to" manuals ("Mel's ten tips). I'm co-founder of Ourboox and married to Ourboox CEO Shuli Sapir-Nevo.
Mel’s Ten Tips for a Successful First Meeting or Interview
So you’re meeting someone for the very first time. It may be a meeting with a client, a customer, a job interview, even a date. Of course you want to make a good impression, a lasting impression (again, a good one). And with positive results!
So here is advice from someone who has had some wonderful life-changing meetings, and some disastrous ones where you want to dive into a crack in the floor and disappear.
Tip Number One:
Come early. Be the first one to show up for the meeting. There is nothing wrong with coming a few minutes early to your meeting. Canadians do it all the time.
Tip Number Two:
Dress well and appropriately. Make sure that you are comfortable with what you wear and how you look. Otherwise you will find yourself worried that your fingernails are not perfect, and inadvertently stare at your hands, rather than concentrate on the business at hand.
Tip Number Three:
Smile and establish eye contact right away. Shake hands (right hand, of course, and as dry as possible) in a warm (not flaccid) manner. Don’t overshake or overpress, though. Psychologists tell us that you have a few seconds to make your first impression. Use them. Be confident. Be natural. Be positive.
Tip Number Four:
Do your research. The internet can provide information on practically every human and business on earth. Find out as much as you can before the meeting. Don’t pry. Don’t write a thesis. Just learn a few things to maximize the potential for engagement and commonality of purpose.
Tip Number Five:
Be in the “zone”. Try to concentrate on what your colleague is saying. Wait until she/he finishes before speaking. Listen a lot. Try to be the one who talks less.
Tip Number Six:
Be positive throughout. Even if you’re upset or disappointed, don’t trash the meeting. Hide disappointment as best you can. Try to find the win-win. Many meetings appear initially to be a big waste of time, but can subsequently turn into something huge. Be open. Suggest alternatives that might be acceptable.
Tip Number Seven:
Asking intelligent questions is usually okay, and sometimes critical. As my friend Jeff Pulver says, “If you don’t ask, the answer is no.”
Tip Number Eight:
Carry along with you anything you might need or want to show. Otherwise you might not have a second chance.
Tip Number Nine:
Leave space. Don’t crowd the colleague. Don’t venture into her/his space. If you wear any fragrance it should be at such a low level that it can barely be noticed, if at all.
Tip Number Ten:
Many meetings do not yield immediate results. Increase your chances. Treat each and every new meeting as if it is the one. If a meeting doesn’t end up yielding anything tangible at least you’ll know that you have given it your best shot.
Tip Number Eleven:
Tips are just tips. Especially mine. They are bits of experience and advice that you can choose to follow or not. If they work, I’m happy. Email me at [email protected] and say thank you. If they don’t, I will gladly refund what you paid me.
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