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    Professionals Talking photo from ShutterstockToday, a lot communication and relationship development is done through email and social media. While these methods can be effective, they don’t have the oomph of in person contact. Connecting through digital means is usually brief and impersonal, whereas connecting face-to-face allows for deeper conversation and greater engagement. The problem is that people have become so reliant on using digital methods to connect with others, that some of the social graces have been forgotten. Because personal contact can make a big impact, you want to do it right. Here are few tips to making a great impression in person.

    Be authentic

    It doesn’t matter what tactics you use to make a good impression, if you aren’t authentic they won’t work. The best strategy you can use to woo new clients or get hired to a new job is genuineness and sincerity. You’ve probably been on the other end of someone asking how the weather is, or how you are in the process of trying to sell you something. You know they don’t care what your answer is. It’s a ploy to build rapport, but because it’s inauthentic, it annoys more than it endears. So above all, be genuine.

    Make eye contact and smile

    Eye contact and a smile exude honesty and confidence. It lets your prospect, or potential employer, know you’re listening and you care about what he’s saying. Of course, there are limits. You don’t want to stare like a Svengali or smile when the information you’re receiving isn’t happy.

    Use names

    Using names shows respect and that you’re personally in tune with the person you’re speaking with. Instead of saying “Good morning,” which could be to anyone, saying “Good morning, Joe,” is specific to Joe. Now Joe feels good about you because you’ve made him feel important. Use names during greetings, as well as throughout the conversation.

    Listen

    Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” There is a lot of truth to that, especially if you’re working to build rapport. Too often, people are so preoccupied with thinking about their next comment, they don’t listen to what the other person is saying. If you’ve been on the receiving end of someone like that, you know it when it happens and it doesn’t feel good. When you’re engaged in conversation, focus on what he’s saying and respond to it. Along with authenticity, listening is a sure way to gain someone’s respect and good will.

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    Leslie Truex is a career design expert who has been helping people find or create work that fits their lifestyle goals since 1998 through her website Work-At-Home Success. She is the author of “The Work-At-Home Success Bible” and “Jobs Online: How To Find a Get Hired to a Work-At-Home Job”. She's appeared on CNN.com, Fox Business, Redbook and a host of other media outlets discussing telecommuting, home business and other flexible career option. She speaks regularly on career-related topics, including telecommuting, home business, marketing, personal development and authorship. Learn more about her at LeslieTruex.com.

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