Tag Archives: handshake

Make a Blazing Hot Cold Introduction

Making a great cold introductionHave you ever sat down to enjoy a good warm meal, only to be abruptly interrupted by a telemarketer trying to sell you something? Having your time wasted by someone trying to sell you something, donate to their cause, or support a political candidate can be annoying at best. Intruding on someone’s busy day to get a sale or even sell your personal brand is a very tricky art to master.

However, it’s also effective. If approached properly, cold introductions can be a great way to generate leads and develop networks that can help you find a job. Here are ways you can make effective cold introductions without coming across as a pushy salesman.

It’s About Them
The most important thing to remember when introducing yourself is to remember – it’s about them, not you. You have a short amount of time to get your point across, so don’t use it to talk about your past work experiences, achievements, or any other reasons why you are a remarkable worker. Instead, focus on their company goals and culture, and showing how you can meet their needs.
One of the first things a sales associate does when selling a product is to find the challenges the customer is facing and explain how his company’s product can help solve that problem. If you can’t quickly communicate why those you are addressing should be interested in what you have to say, and how you can further their organization, you’ll lose their attention.

It’s Personal
Assuming you are actively seeking these connections, you should have already researched them and their employer before trying to meet. If you meet with people you already know some information about, you will separate yourself as someone who is prepared and eager to meet you. They will be more open to talk and give you useful advice since you took the time to learn more about them than just asking general interview questions.

It’s also important to be sincere. When researching the people or employer, find aspects that really interest you and give you reason to ask for clarity. Questions or statements shouldn’t be made for the sake of asking questions. The more sincere you are about something, the more likely the other person will see your passion, which will lead to deeper conversations and stronger relationships.

It’s Not Always Direct
Some people are hard to reach. They have a strict schedule and sometimes they stick to it without interruption. That’s why you might have to warm up a cold introduction before you meet. If a potential contact has an assistant, receptionist, or office manager, build a relationship with them first. Asking them for help, remembering their name, and always thanking them, even after you meet with the potential contact will go a long way.

If you would like a less direct approach, social media can be a useful tool to slowly build a rapport before meeting someone. First, find people of interest on Twitter and follow them. Then when they tweet, comment on their posts and compliment them on their references. You can also follow their company pages on LinkedIn and Facebook and comment on and compliment the posts.

Cold introductions don’t have to be as scary or annoying as most people make them out to be. With a little research and confidence, you can introduce yourself to anyone and build a strong, reliable network. What are some of your stories of how a cold introduction led to career success?

The Silent Clues – How to Make Your Nonverbal Signals Send the Right Message

In a recent article featured on ABC News.com, a survey revealed that 55% of people are unhappy in their current jobs. This paired with our recent poll that showed 82% of readers would job hop in 2010 indicates that people are ready for a change in their work life. Based on these findings, competition may stay fierce as people look for new jobs. So, here are some tips to help you brush up on your nonverbal skills to ensure you outshine the competition and send all the right messages once you’ve landed an interview.

  • Always Smile. When you first meet an interviewer, give them a big smile. A sincere smile communicates warmth and friendliness, and helps put everyone at ease. Also, it’s a great way to break the ice and help relieve any tension about the interview.
  • Give a Firm Handshake. Extend your hand first to greet your interviewer. Doing so shows that you are a go-getter and you take the initiative – both of which are good qualities employers like to see. Be firm with your handshake, but not too firm. You don’t want to inflict any pain on your interviewer.

  • Balance Eye Contact. Too little eye contact during an interview can give the impression that you lack confidence or have something you are trying to hide. Give too much eye contact, and you might be displaying aggression. During your interview, look the interviewer in the eye, but be sure to occasionally break eye contact at appropriate times.

  • Lean Forward. When you sit down in the interview chair, don’t lean back too far. Instead, sit closer to the front of the chair and lean slightly forward to communicate your interest in the job. Leaning back may cause you to look too casual, making it hard for an interviewer to see your drive or passion.
  • Be Aware of Your Arms. Crossed arms send the message that you are standoffish, insecure, defensive, and want others to stay away. During your interview, keep your arms relaxed on the table or in your lap to show that you are approachable and open.
  • Control Your Nerves. Your nervousness can come across in an interview if you use excessive hand gestures or facial expressions, or if you are jittery. Its fine to use some gestures and facial expressions – especially if that is part of your personality – but just don’t overdo it. Tapping your fingers on the table, clicking a pen, or wiggling your feet and legs can be seen as a distraction, so try not to do them. Those cues could give the interviewer the impression that you don’t want to be there.

Now that you have these tips, try a practice interview to help you prepare for the real deal. Your nonverbals say a lot about who you are. They are part of the first impression that you make, and remember, a first impression is made quickly and you don’t get a second chance at it. Make the most of it and make it count!