In the world of business, there is a code of conduct that is not written down. It’s kind of like an unwritten constitution because everyone is expected to adhere to it, but everyone knows that it has been changing for decades. How you meet and greet someone is an extremely important process, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. You are the face and the lightning rod for your company, your ideas, and outlooks, products and services. Talking to an industry expert and or successful business owner in your industry is a great opportunity.
Although there are many moments where you wish you could meet someone you admire and talk to them about the successes and failures you’re going through in the early stages of growth, they come along rarely. This is because those that have proven themselves, are now in charge of large businesses and must divide their time carefully. They want to meet young talent but, they don’t do so for their leisure. So when you do get a few minutes with them, and usually it will only just be a few, bring the charm offensive with you.
An ancient ritual
The way youngsters or novices have met their elders or more experienced counterparts has always had some kind of ritual. You’re not meeting a friend down the local bar for a beer, you’re meeting someone that one day, you would like to in some way emulate. They’re successful, they have ridden up the mountain through the cold and blustery winds, they have stood the test of time and are in a position of wealth, power and influence.
Greeting someone like this, who could impart wisdom and hope to you, and possibly even help you with their contacts and favors, should be done with a basic show of respect. If you can help it, wait for them to talk to you. If you’re at a conference and or business event while they’re working the room, wait your turn. Stand up straight, don’t allow your shoulders to slouch forward, and have a soft face but don’t force a smile. Shake their hand firmly, squeezing just a little and make and hold eye contact for a few seconds while introducing yourself.
Thorough and respectful
Meeting a figure of success can be daunting. You already know that they can see straight through an act. They meet so many people that try too hard to impress them, that they feel as if they’re surrounded by fake people. You should be different by being absolutely thorough in what you say. Talk about your ambitions, what you think could be done differently and how you intend to make an impact in the industry.
Have your business cards at the ready, as you want to be respectful and not take up too much of their time. Plastic business cards are just plain better than those made out of paper, as you can have any sort of graphics printed on them. Completely customized, they stick out profusely, giving you a pop-out power from the rest. There are so many options regarding styles, you have no excuse to not design one that you would be proud to display in your display cabinet.
Figures of success in the world of business are a small percentage of everyone involved. They are the elite but instead of being part of an aristocratic club, they worked hard for their accolades. When you meet someone from this small group, bring your best charm offensive.