The MSL route is a very social career path where you will find yourself meeting with new people very often. Whether that’s KOLs, commercial colleagues, recruiters or other MSLs, making that positive first impression is key to maintaining a valuable relationship. Here are our top 5 tips for making the most out of your first impression:
- Find some common ground. It doesn’t have to be anything large, but something to help start or continue the conversation.
- Be mindful of your body language. You want to remain warm and welcoming. Make sure you aren’t crossing your arms and slouching your shoulders. Stand proud and with arms open and inviting. Also, don’t forget to smile! It’s a great way to show your energy and that you are willing to interact. Lastly, eye contact is key. Don’t get distracted by things going on around you as everyone’s time is valuable so make sure you keep good eye contact.
- Listen and ask questions. It’s very easy to get caught up in stories or points you want to bring up, especially if you are feeling pressed for time. You don’t need to throw a lot of information at someone to impress them. Rather, focus on engaging them in the conversation to create back and forth friendly chat.
- Be polite. You may think the person you are meeting with is casual and not into business etiquette, but you always want to lead with the utmost respect especially at the start of any conversation. That includes shying away from any polarizing or political topics.
- Follow-up after your conversation. Hopefully you were able to exchange business cards so that you could write a personalized email following up on your conversation and thanking them for their time.
If you aren’t sure of the first impression you might be giving off, don’t ever be afraid to ask a mentor or trusted friend. The more you know about your strengths and weaknesses and how those are perceived, the better.
If you have any tips that you use to make the most out of your first impression, we would love to hear them. We will be attending our next conference this September at the MSL Society Conference – we look forward to putting these tips to the test!