Making the right first impression is one of the keys to succeeding in recruiting, but did you realize that the very first word you speak, "hello", can often make or break a relationship with a client or a candidate?
Whether on the phone or in person, how you go about introducing yourself is one of the most important interactions you will ever have in gaining new business or placing a new hire.
Why is Hello So Important?
The way you introduce yourself sets the tone through which a potential client or candidate will judge not only your personality, but also your effectiveness at getting the job done.
Being underwhelming may lead a potential client to think that you hate your job and that you're disinterested in finding the right applicant, while for a candidate, a weak and disinterested hello can lead them to shying away from your services. Everyone in the equation wants to feel valued, so make them feel valued!
In the article, "4 Ways for Recruiters to Make an Impact at 'Hello'," the author mentions finding the right cultural fit by embodying the culture yourself, so be the brand and you'll find the right employees.
Can You Be Too Enthusiastic?
On the other hand, it is possible to be too enthusiastic, ultimately coming across as fake and disingenuous.
You may also seem like you're trying too hard, and this can make it seem like you're desperate to gain new clients or place candidates that you don't truly care about.
When saying hello, or in any other type of initial greeting, be genuine to get the best results. Even if you're speaking with someone for the first time on the phone, smile as you talk as this will come across in your voice and inflection.
Recovering From an Introductory Failure
The truth is, you're not going to hit the ball out of the park every single time, but there are ways to recover from missteps. First, laugh it off and continue.
For example, if you're late in calling a candidate, apologize and explain how your brain just got away. Laugh, be open, and allow you to be warm and personable.
Or, if you introduced yourself in a way that was less than desirable, try to relate to the client by having a conversation about what a hectic week or time of year it's been.
You want the potential client to feel like you understand his or her pain, even though you are the one who messed up.
This can lead to not only looking over the slight, but also a deepening of your connection on a professional and personal level with the potential client.
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com
About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include corporate recruiting and human resources development.