One of the great thrills early in my career was getting to do the meet and greet of Alyssa Milano at Disney. I had always had the opportunity to meet some pretty famous people, but this one in particular was cool because I had watched Who’s The Boss? a lot when I was younger. As well, I was having a particularly uneventful day when the call came from the management office that we needed to meet up with her when she arrived.
I walked up to her as she arrived and I gave her a smile and shook her hand and we proceeded up with her group to her room. I asked her how her summer was going and how long they were going to be at Disney, and shared some ideas on things they may want to do. I treated her as if I knew her already and that made the conversation much more personal than business. She enjoyed her stay and was particularly pleased that we gave her an upgrade since they were only there for a night.
When she saw the room we gave her and her friends, she was ecstatic and said to me “I should give you a big hug for this and I am going to.” Thankfully, despite the exciting moment, I didn’t die on the spot thanks to having my colleague Aimee there to make sure I didn’t act like a complete idiot.
This particular experience shows how important it is to make people feel comfortable from the very beginning with who you are and what you represent. Every time I meet someone now for the first time in person, I try to make them feel like I have known them forever. Especially if it is someone I met online only, that first chance to see them face to face is a critical time to make them realize that you are connected in some way already.
So next time you run into a celebrity, someone you want to impress, or someone you only have met online, be sure to be your very best self.