First impressions are important, but still may leave you fairly forgettable in the eyes of your new contact. To cement a good first impression, you need a great second impression, Geoffrey James writes.
He explains how in five simple steps.
1. Do some research and use the knowledge you gain to your advantage. Try to find something out about your new contact that you can bring up the next time you meet. For example, use Twitter to find out what she’s been reading and what conferences she may have attended recently. Then you can start a conversation around one of those topics.
2. State your purpose. Get to the point when you talk to your new contact. Once you’ve exhausted your opening, bring up the reason you’ve approached this person a second time.
3. Conduct a meaningful discussion. Don’t be superficial. Make sure you have a meaningful conversation by listening carefully, asking questions that show you’re paying attention and by not anticipating answers.
4. Leave the door open. Don’t downplay yourself, but remember other people are busy and may need to move on. Don’t monopolize someone or trap him; give him an out after you’ve made your point.
5. Say “thanks,” then skedaddle. Even if your new contact doesn’t take the opportunity to leave, you shouldn’t monopolize his time. Thank him for taking the time to talk, and end the conversation.
— Adapted from “How to Make a Great Second Impression,” Geoffrey James, Inc.