What is the first thing you notice about someone you are meeting for the first time?
I usually notice their body language. I am impressed by people who are comfortable in their own skin and have good posture. You can’t expect anybody else to buy into you until you have bought into yourself.
How important is the handshake?
A person who puts out their hand first shows more confidence. The handshake shouldn’t be limp but also not a vice grip. Men should be aware of not killing a woman’s hand by squeezing too hard. Good networkers usually use a three-step handshake which comprises putting your hand out, using your free hand to touch the person’s elbow or for a double handed shake and then establishing eye contact.
What do good networkers talk about?
What makes a good impression is someone who has done their homework by researching the person they are meeting, their company or industry. They also need to be able to make small talk well. People who read a lot and have good general knowledge usually succeed at this. I am also impressed by those who display a natural curiosity, so they ask questions and are good listeners rather than just talking about themselves.
What puts you off a new acquaintance?
People who invade other people’s personal space – an arm’s length is usually a reasonable distance. I don’t like it when they are overly familiar or use endearments, and bad hygiene is an obvious one. You also get what I call ‘big game networkers’. These are the people that are already looking over your shoulder to see who else is in the room and don’t listen properly to what you are saying.