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A Practical Guide to Making the Proper Introductions in Business September 11, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee, Working with Bosses and Officemates.
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There is only one chance to make a first impression.  Once that chance is gone, it’s gone.  You can’t take it back.  That means when you’re making introductions in a business setting, you should make it right the first time.  If you’re still unsure about making the appropriate business introductions, here’s a practical guide on how to do it properly:

Power and authority means precedence.
When making the proper introductions in business, it’s important to consider the ranks of those involved.  This is so that you can introduce the person of lower rank TO the person of higher rank.  For example:

Mr. John Santos – President and CEO
Mr. Pedro Jose – Manager for Sales and Marketing

In this case, Mr. Jose has the lower rank.  To introduce the two, say:

“Mr. Santos, may I introduce to you Mr. Pedro Jose.” or “Mr. Santos, may I introduce Mr. Pedro Jose.”

In case you’re introducing a client to your boss, your client takes precedence because he is considered as more important.

Don’t say “Hi”.
When someone is being introduced to you in a formal setting, don’t say “Hi” or “Hi there”.  Reserve that for less formal occasions.  In a business setting, say “Hello” instead, followed by the person’s name.  Don’t just say, “Hello”.  Remember, you’re being introduced to a person and not answering the phone.

If the person is a peer, say, “Hello, Rissa” or “Hello Ms. Santos“.  If the person is a senior or a higher-up, say, “Hello, Ms. Santos“.  Do not use the first name of a senior, a boss or a client unless you’re invited to do so.  Stick to the more formal terms until such time when you can communicate with each other on a first name basis.

When introducing yourself, do not use your title.
I am Sir William” or “Hello, my name is Ms. Donna.” or “Hello, I am VP Dionisio San Telmo.”  It sounds ridiculously haughty.  The person you are introducing yourself to will know soon enough who you are and how to address you properly.

Instead, introduce yourself by saying your complete name, then add your title.  You might also need to mention your company’s name but that depends on the situation.  Say, “Hello, Mr. Lopez.  I am Dionisio San Telmo.  I’m the vice president of XYZ Corporation.”

When introducing your better half or any of your relatives or friends
One thing that never ceases to amuse me is when people introduce their spouses.  At least two of my former colleagues introduced their wives as… well, their wives.  No first names whatsoever.  I had to ask the women what their names were.

When introducing someone who has a personal relationship with you to any of your officemates, say the name of the person first, followed by their relationship to you.  For example, say, “This is Anna, my wife,” or “This is Johnny, my brother” or “I’d like to introduce Tom San Juan, my best friend.” 

Don’t say, “This is my wife Anna” or “My brother Johnny” or “My best friend Tom.”  No need to mention the last names of your spouse or sibling.  That is, unless you are using a different name professionally.

When introducing a person to a group…
Say the person’s name first and then mention the names of the people in that group.  Make the introduction simple.  Don’t fuss or make dramatic intros. 

Please say the name right.
Make sure you know who the person is and how to say their name prior to making the introduction.  If you make a mistake, it can be rather awkward for those present and embarrassing to your guest.

If, however, you made a mistake (a mispronunciation, saying the wrong name, etc.), apologize once – and only once – and then say the correct name.  If the other person makes the mistake, correct the error immediately but in a friendly manner. 

Don’t gesture too much.
Motioning to a person by way of a hand gesture or body position is probably all right, provided the gestures are kept at a minimum.  Don’t point with a finger, touch or wave.  It’s considered rude. 

Now, do you stand up when introduced?
Used to be that women didn’t leave their seats when introduced or when goodbyes are said.  A good practice, however, is to simply ignore the traditional gender roles.  This is business etiquette, by the way.  If you’re a woman, it’s perfectly acceptable to stand up and shake hands with someone during introductions.

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