#94 How to Leave a Positive Impression When Hosting Important Visitors using the SMILE Method

The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 94, 11 October 2023 by Lucy Gernon

Want to make a lasting impression when important guests visit your site?

Hosting visits from your company’s top leaders, particularly in fields like science, tech or finance where technical expertise is paramount, can make you feel a bit jittery. 

Wondering how to prepare and present yourself so they remember you for the right reasons?

Well, don’t worry because I’ve got your back! 

In today’s episode of the 360 LeadHERship Podcast, you’ll discover my proven five-step strategy to help you build connections and leave a lasting positive impression.

So, if you’re ready to learn the secrets of hosting success, keep reading… 

I’ve created a simple 5 step acronym called SMILE to support you with this. I get into a lot more detail on the podcast, but for now, here’s a taste.

S – Study

LinkedIn research is a game changer before hosting important visitors, like clients or your board of directors. Learn about their background, accomplishments, and interests. This proactive approach shows real interest and makes you stand out. Rather than becoming star-struck, be prepared with important discussion points to leave a lasting impression. The key to a successful meeting is research.

M – Meet

Authenticity is really important when you meet important guests. Treat them like regular people, not just their fancy titles. When you say hello, make sure to look them in the eyes and give them a real smile. This makes everyone feel comfortable and helps you make real connections. When you have genuine conversations, it leaves a lasting impression that people won’t forget.

I – Instigate

When you meet someone important, it’s a good idea to come up with an interesting question. Use what you learned from step one to think of a smart question that connects to their hobbies or achievements. This shows that you’ve put thought into it and sets you apart, starting the conversation off on the right foot. A well-thought-out question is like the beginning of a meaningful talk.

L – Listen Actively

Maintain eye contact and show real interest in their comments to engage in active listening. Reflecting their language back to them indicates your attention to detail and shows you understand what they’re saying. Being present and asking smart follow-up questions promotes meaningful conversation.

E – End

Wrap things up nicely by thanking your visitors for spending time with you and sharing their insights. Right after your meeting, connect with them on LinkedIn so you can stay in touch. If it feels right and the situation allows, suggest taking a fun selfie together for a memorable ending. It adds a friendly and lighthearted touch to your interaction that people will remember

I get into lots of details on the podcast and share examples and questions you can use so be sure to tune in and grab a pen and paper.

Here’s the episode at a glance:

[1:42] The Importance of Researching and Understanding Your Visitors

[4:54] Master The Art Of First Impressions With This Amazing Trick

[6:54] Use Smart Questions For Unbreakable Rapport With Guests

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