A sincere greeting is an essential part of your skills. Greeting people properly does not need to be wooden or robotic. Just be yourself and be aware of your goals while greeting people.
Just yelling “Hey, how’s it going!” is a greeting. It’s just not a good one. Walk over and shake hands and add a personal comment like, “Hi Jeff, it’s great to see you again. How have you been?” That is a much better way to go, don’t you think dear beloved reader of mine? I’m so glad we agree. It isn’t difficult to do with people you know already. You just need to think about it beforehand so you don’t blow it until you become comfortable with doing this. Politeness has sadly fallen out of disfavor in recent years. Your extra bit will make an impression, a good one. When meeting someone for the first time through introduction with a mutual friend, or just introducing yourself, it is even more important to be sincere and friendly. Shake hands and say, “Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Ed. Jeff here told me about your company and I’m excited to meet you!” It doesn’t get much easier than that. Remember, it’s about making connections in all aspects of your life. Don’t skimp on a sincere and heartfelt greeting. It increases your value to the people you are talking to as well as being polite.
A goodbye is just as important to make an effort with. “It was great meeting you, Jeff. I’m defiantly going to look into the new tracking software we discussed.” Be specific so they have one more thing to remember you by. Ask to follow up if it’s appropriate and then do it. Trade business cards or phone numbers if it seems appropriate, and you’ve just made a great new contact. This person could introduce you to more people that can help you. It doesn’t work for just business, though. It works socially as well. Being well thought of is never ever a bad thing. Even if whatever type of relationship you’re trying to build doesn’t work out, you will still have a person out in the world who has good things to say about you. That’s priceless.
I know everyone says hello and goodbye. How many of us hear what was said though? Here is a simple example. I’m boarding a plane and the attendant says, “Have a safe and enjoyable flight Mr. Neary.” Now if I’m paying attention, it’s “Thank you for your help Marsha. You have a wonderful day!” If I’m like most people the answer is “You Too!” Ouch, right? Poor Marsha. She isn’t getting on a plane. She is going to be working the next terminal over in 10 minutes. If you use the first example and use her name and thank her, chances are that when she gets home tonight, she will have a nice story to tell about a very polite person who spoke with her and lightened her day just a bit. If you use the second example, she likely won’t remember you at all. Personally, I prefer to be remembered. I’m betting you do too.