Picture the scene: you’re having dinner on your own in a restaurant and the person of your dreams walks in. They come over to you. There’s good eye contact. You can feel a connection already.
Breathlessly, they whisper: “It’s great to meet you. Tell me about yourself…”
How would you respond? Like this?
“Great to meet you too. Luckily, I’ve got this book with me (you ceremoniously whip the book from your pocket). It describes my family history in full — how many of us there are, all our names, the things that are different and interesting about us. It really is a One Stop Shop describing what’s special about us… Hey, hold on, I haven’t finished yet… Where are you going…? Don’t go… Come back!”
Devastating. Your one chance to make a first impression — totally ruined.
Do you think that’s a weird example? After all, nobody would behave like that when first meeting someone, would they?
So, why is it that some people feel it’s essential to take a brochure with them to first meetings with potential customers?
They’ve never seen you before. They don’t want to be reading stuff about you. They want a chat — one that you both find interesting and stimulating. One you both enjoy. And one that — like a first date — if things go well, leads to something much better for both of you.
So, when you’re meeting someone for the first time, don’t take a brochure (you wouldn’t want to read theirs, so why would they want to read yours?)
Instead, prepare (in advance):
Since you’ve read this far, I guess you’re finding this advice useful? So, while I’ve got you, let me just quickly show you my holiday photos… No, don’t go… Please…
Andy Bounds is a communications expert, speaker and the author of The Snowball Effect: Communication Techniques to Make You Unstoppable. You can sign up for his free weekly tips here.