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Business meeting etiquette for the aspiring entrepreneur

First impressions lasts
By Entrepreneur Staff |

By becoming an entrepreneur does not mean that you turn into a hermit in your own store or place of business, it\\\'s actually the opposite. By becoming an entrepreneur, you have just opened an entirely new opportunity to meet people.

From meeting suppliers, clients, to bank meetings for loans, to meeting prospective business partners, everyday of your life will be peppered with meetings and introducing yourself is the most crucial aspect of it all.

Introductions are always awkward, but here are a few tips on how to make them as smooth as possible:

• Stand up: This applies to both sexes. Failing to do so sends the message that you think the other person is unimportant.

• Greet them: A simple “Hello” or “How do you do?” shows politeness.

• Make eye contact and smile: This conveys sincerity, focus, and openness.

• Shake hands: Handshakes should last about three seconds, the time it takes to pump the other’s hand once or twice.

• Know the pecking order: Introduce an older person to a younger person, someone from another company to your coworker or client, a senior executive to a junior executive, and a host or guest of honor to a guest.

• Include a short description: State the person’s full name, profession, and where they’re from. “Mr. Ricardo Ramos, I’d like you to meet Ms. Santos, my friend from Iloilo.” This provides an opening for a conversation.

• Remember their names: To avoid forgetting someone’s name, try to use it at least three times in a conversation, or associate it with someone you can remember. If you’ve already forgotten, ask for it again: “I’m sorry, but I didn’t catch your name.”

• Introduce yourself: It’s perfectly acceptable to introduce someone to a group: “Everybody, this is Christine Chu, my colleague”; or to introduce yourself to someone: “I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Katherine Lontoc.”

This article was originally published in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines.

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