As I travel from city to city, I meet a new set of people every week. After every presentation, there are always groups of people who approach me. Some have questions, some ask how they can hire me to coach them, and some just want a selfie for them to post online.
Then the moment of truth happens…
When I check my social media pages later that evening, I see new friend requests. This is where it gets interesting. There are some people I remember meeting earlier that evening, and there are others who I swear I’ve never seen before in my life.
One group was able to master the art of the first impression. The other group got tossed into the mental dumpster pile that is filled with random information I’d rather forget.
This is an example of what happens to you on the subconscious level with every new person you meet. Based on how you “set the hook” in their mind, you are either going to be filed or forgotten based on their initial feeling about you.
This is a critical fork in the road at which most entrepreneurs crash and burn. Too often, we prejudge people and the potential of the relationship. We become unintentional about making our brand stick when we don’t see a direct benefit they can bring to our business. If we’re being honest, we have all at some point blown people off based on face value. This is the wrong mindset. You can’t take for granted that superficial assumptions will yield an accurate analysis of people’s value to us. Remember this—You don’t know who they know. And more importantly—You don’t know who they are going to know!
Here is a perfect example: I once sat next to a loud-talking gentleman on an airplane who had had a few drinks in him and confessed to only having a high school education. He started off working at Popeye’s Chicken…then he bought one! He now owns several businesses and is a multi-millionaire. Imagine how foolish I would have looked had I pre-judged him and blew him off. Instead, I focused on building rapport with him and piquing his interest. Now, who knows what new doors this relationship will open?
When you meet someone for the first time, put yourself in the Facebook frame of mind. Ask yourself, how can I get him to remember me 24 to 48 hours after my initial impression? Whether you really do become social media contacts or not doesn’t matter. The point is, you have to be unique or you will be instantly forgotten as soon as your conversation ends.
Here are some of my best secrets for standing out in a crowd:
- Associate a mental picture with your name – “Hi, I’m Jonathan Sprinkles…like what you put on cupcakes.”
- Ask for special treatment – “When you take your stack of business cards out of your pocket this evening, what would it take for you to remember mine specifically?”
- Always follow up – “Hey, I know you’re meeting a lot of people today. Can I get your information so I can send a thank you note to you?” (FYI—This is a guaranteed winner but NOBODY does this!)
W. Clement Stone said, “Little hinges swing big doors.” These seemingly insignificant steps will instantly separate you from the pack and create opportunities to network with powerful people who can give you the hookup. Normal is boring. Be fun. Be unique. Be someone worth remembering.
Jonathan Sprinkles, known as “Your Connection Coach,” is the author of 13 books (two-time international bestseller), television personality, host of The Jonathan Sprinkles Show on weekly radio, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He is the host of Presentation Power, an event for business owners who want to use the Power of Connection™ to boost their brand, build trust, and close more business. Get a $100 MBE Magazine discount at www.GetPresentationPower.com. Use Promo Code: MBEMAG for your discount.
Date(s): July 18-20, 2017
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston - Greenway Plaza
Contact information: JS@Jsprinkles.com, 832-429-5161
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