How to Make the First Move!

It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference. – Anonymous

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living. -Bob Burg

I began noticing an interesting phenomenon a couple of years ago. Whenever I walked into a room half-full of people, those who had arrived with friends sat with their friends. Very often, they would be engaged in conversation. Nothing strange about that.

The interesting phenomenon was, those who had arrived by themselves, sat by themselves, and very often very far away from the next person. If there were enough seats available, they’d seat rows away from the next person. If there weren’t enough seats, they’d usually try to seat at least one seat away from the other person. Otherwise, they’d just seat down on whatever seat that was available. But still, most kept to themselves!

Do you see it?

Seldom does anybody make the first move to speak to anyone new!

Yet in the wake of the rise of email and instant message as predominant communication tools, the ability of a person to network and mingle effectively is a critical skill to anyone who wishes to stand out from the crowd. Research has shown that only 7% of a message is convey via words. The remaining 28% and 65% is conveyed via a person’s tone and body language.

So just imagine when all that your competitor is comfortable with is typing behind the anonymity and security of the monitor and screen name when you are actively networking and mingling with other people. By mastering the skills of networking and communication, you’re putting yourself in a much greater position in terms of credibilty and reliability!

Just think about how you much more you would be able to achieve if you were able to fully convey the remainder of 93% of your message to the intended recipient! Think about how much you’d be able to stand head and shoulders above your fiercest rivals!

Henry Ford once said that he became one of the world’s richest men, not because he was the smartest man around, but because he was able to find the smartest people to work for him! But how could he have done it if didn’t know how to network with people?

Now networking is critical. But it need not be difficult! In fact, it’s really easy – and there are a million and one people [I’m sure there are more!] who are just waiting out there to talk to someone as interesting as you! Now all you have to do is help them by learning how to make the first move! Better still, if you’re single, meet your dream date by making the first move!

It’s really easy!

Now here’s how to do it:

1) Be First to Say Hello!

By making the first move, you’re assuming a position of power. By making the first move, you’re effectively taking hold the ‘ball’ and throwing it into the other’s court. It’s an invitation from you that “you’ve given permission” to the other person to enter into a conversation – and start a new relationship!

Of course, the person could reject the invitation and return your invitation with indifference. But hey! It’s no big deal! As a matter a fact, it’s great! Now you don’t have to waste your time on that person and your time is freed to look for someone else who’s more interesting and of better character! Or maybe someone more attractive? [*winks*]

2) Awareness

Face it. Many times we enter parties or new settings with the frown of uncertainty. In many instances, many ‘first timers’ are afraid too! But that’s the good news! Recognising that most of the people who are there are as uncertain and afraid as you are means that they won’t bite.

In fact, recognising that most of the people are afraid and uncertain means that you’re now able to give them what they want – a helping hand to lift them out of their misery! How? Be friendly and talk to them! You won’t bite will you? (you had better not! *grins*)

3) Smile!

Now I’ve mentioned it, most of the time we’re wearing a frown of uncertainty on our faces. But there’s a problem. How does one react when he sees a frown? Heck! How would you react when you see a frown?

Do you feel warm and welcomed when you see a frown? Or does it really repel you from the wearer?

I believe for most of us, a frown is a general warning sign against approach. The effects of a frown is negative to whatever you’re trying to achieve. In fact, if you were a follower of the recent American Idol auditions, you would have realised that almost all of those who wore a frown to the auditions didn’t make it through! Conversely, almost all those who made it through wore a smile. I’m not saying they made it solely because they had nice smiles! All I’m saying is, smiles adds value to the overall package, and a frown deducts the value.

Smiling is signal of peace and friendship. It signals to the recipient that we pose no threat or harm to our opponents. Would you smile if you were ready to attack someone?

Smiling is an extremely useful tool to defuse tension and uncertainty! Especially in the social context, smiling is a simple but immensely beneficial tool to help break the ice and initiate new conversations and relationships!

There you have it! Three easy to use strategies on how to make the first move! Try it in business or when you’re interesting in knowing someone new! You never know when that person may become your next biggest client, or your next lifelong partner!

Try it!

What would your success story be?


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