Have you noticed that when you meet someone new how often you can be influenced by the fact that they remind you of someone else?
If the person they remind you of is a good memory then this new person has a better chance of a positive experience, if they remind you of someone with whom you have bad memories then the new person has an uphill struggle.
If you think about it there are probably people you have met with whom you felt instantly comfortable and others that you took an instant dislike to … and sometimes it is because of this kind of association.
Now think about that in the business context … as a salesperson meeting a new prospect your first “job” is to establish some rapport and some credibility. The classic “How are you today … blah blah” is not only lame, it is is going to remind the prospect of all the other “lame” salespeople they have encountered in their past. You are already swimming against the tide!
Just occasionally you go to meet a prospect and almost immediately they are friendly and inviting … later on you find out that you remind them of their son/daughter/best friend etc. Even the “How are you today” opening isn’t going to hurt you in this scenario!
What does it all mean …
1. It is just another fact to be cognizant of when meeting new people. If they take an instant dislike to you it might well be someone else that they are thinking of … your job at that point is to make them see the “you” that they will like.
2. If you are meeting new people and feel an immediate “dislike”, maybe you should understand if it is this person in front of you evoking that response … or just maybe it is someone from your past that they remind you of. Give THIS person a chance!
You don’t want to discard a potential new contact for the wrong reasons … and you probably shouldn’t warm up to a potential new contact for the wrong reasons either. Judge people on their own merits!