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The FRONT: A Leadership Podcast

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Apr 12, 2018

An eye to eye meeting and greeting of people is always valuable.

And, one of the most important pieces of information that you will learn as a sales consultant is the professional greeting.

Whether you are a sales consultant in retail, working with customers in your everyday life. Or if you are B2B sales, hoping to deal with other professionals and sell your product or service. The way you greet people in person, eye to eye heavily will determine your success in sales.The script that you use, over and over again, the body language and mannerisms that you develop when meeting someone for the first time. Will have an impact on your level of success.

Whether they should or not, people still judge by the first appearance, regardless of if they say they do or not, it happens. While I personally am a fan of the first meeting of professional dress i.e. shirt and tie, etc. I think for a first meeting this is always valuable.

Here are a few steps to follow to have a successful first meeting with a prospective customer.

Step 0 – Your greeting of any business prospect or customer begins when you first get up in the morning.  It starts by you, as a professional being properly groomed, clothes pressed and what sort of attitude you choose to start your day with. There is a lot to be said for the “setup” beforehand. Still Step 0 - It is always more ideal to have an appointment. Especially in a vendor partner or B2B relationship. “Just popping in,” doesn’t often work because people are busy.

Once you are LIVE - IT SHOULD START OUT THE SAME (Or at least similar) EVERY TIME!

Step 1 – Make eye contact. Eye contact is instinctive with humans. Beginning with infants, they prefer looking at faces that gaze back at them. Brain activity studies in babies shows that they process gazing faces more deeply than faces that are looking away. As adults eye contact triggers an increased state of self-consciousness and consumes extra brain power. Most relationships start with eye contact; including relationships in the business world.

Step 2 - Carry yourself confidently from the chest, or I prefer to say, from the heart. When you practice that body language and posture, it creates a confident stance. You carry yourself from the heart and are direct. Why are the approach and handshake such an important step for those of us in sales? The reason is that it creates personal congruency.  If your approach is lackadaisical, shoulders slouched and then you wave, rather than shaking hands with your prospect, what does that tell them? 

Step 3 – SMILE. It is proven that smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. ... The feel-good neurotransmitters — dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. So, let’s start out the interaction this way, by feeling good and making the other person feel good too.

Step 4 - Shake hands. Believe it or not, I believe this takes practice. We all know how to shake hands with someone right… or do we?  Where do we learn the handshake from? Maybe the Dads or Moms and Grandparents would take you aside and “practice” to have a firm handshake. However, something to consider, for most people in any sales industry today, you’ve been learning to shake hands from strangers.

Step 5 – Begin with whatever your greeting is. And start a conversation! I recommend you should always start confidently with your name, your company’s name, and (when appropriate) their name. Then pause and give them a chance to begin a conversation.

For goodness sake – BE PREPARED!

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