I am closing my eyes right now. I’m picturing a man, a smiling man, who just entered a room full of strangers. I am watching each one of them; but especially the two women on the left, holding a glass in their left hands, a purse in their right, talking. The man walks up to them. Still smiling. They stop talking, and starts looking at him. He says hi. And he looks at the brunette on the left. He steps closer, and he approaches her carefully. And then, he leans forward and wraps his arms around her, and gives her a hug.
What do you think her reaction was?
This was a stranger, and he gave her a hug the first time they met. In life, there are so many different types of people, some people love hugs, some people don’t. You just can’t tell what their comfort zone is by just looking at a person for a few minutes.
Turning a stranger into a friend
If you want to make a great first impression, online and offline, you need to listen, and you need to watch, before you approach. Entering the comfort zone too early, will only make you sad. The smiling man might get lucky, and make a great first impression, but that’s it, we shouldn’t have to be lucky to make a great first impression.
I get a lot of emails, and many people are contacting me via social media. And, I get a lot of requests for guest posts (and that’s why I have written a guideline). The people that are successful at making a great first impression on me, are not the people that are giving me a hug. Don’t get me wrong. I love hugs, but I don’t usually hug strangers.
I want the small talk. I want to get to know a person, and I really don’t want to be sold to the first time I talk to a person. If the smiling man had done his homework, he would have known exactly what the opening line should have been, and what he should have done to make her smile.
It’s easier than ever to listen and watch before you approach a person. You don’t even have to be in the same room.
The easiest ways to get started without entering the comfort zone is to:
- Reading their blog and commenting on the posts
- Reading their tweets and retweeting the best ones
I’m not sure, but adding a stranger as a friend on Facebook might be considered an online hug to me. But like I said, I’m not sure, and it might depend on how many friends we have in common.
When you’re involved in marketing, it’s very important to understand that people have a comfort zone both online as well as offline.
What’s your online comfort zone? Is it ok if a stranger adds you as a friend on Facebook? Do you accept guest posts from complete strangers? How do you approach strangers online?
I’d love a discussion,