What to say when meeting someone for the first time depends who you are meeting, and why. Have a look at the points below, and you’ll understand what that means.
1. A potential boss
When going on a job interview, you are intent on making the right impression. You can say in a good and clear voice, “How do you do, Mr./Ms (blank)? I’m very pleased to meet you.”
This is a good, direct introduction. It’s neutral, yet pleasant. Do not use their first name until they say it is okay to do so.
2. The new (or potential) client
On the flip side to a new boss is someone who you are trying to get work from. When you first meet such a person, you should say something like “Welcome to my office, Mr./Ms. (blank); (do not refer to them by their first name). Please have a seat, and let’s talk about what my company can do for you.”
This is a good way to start off because it lets them know that you know their name, you’re offering to make them comfortable, and you’re making it clear that you (and your company) are there to serve them.
3. A possible employee
This is the flip side to going on an interview for a job. You want to put the potential new employee at ease.
So, a nice phrase like, “It’s good of you to come in today, Mr./Ms (blank). Please, have a seat, and we’ll have a look at your resume and see if our company is a good match for you.” You put them at ease, kick off the interview with a basic question (asking for their resume), and make it clear that you are interested in having them come on board as an employee.
4. A date
Nothing gets people more nervous than meeting a man/woman for the first time on a date. There’s always the concern that your words could be misinterpreted by the man (or woman) you’re trying to make a good impression on. So, like for a job interview, be pleasant, but generic.
You could try something like, “It’s very nice to meet you, (blank, the person’s first name); I hope we can have a good time today/tonight.”
You want to make it clear that you’re glad to meet the person, but you need to be wary of saying a word or phrase that could have a sexual connotation.
5. Potential in-laws
This is on a par with meeting someone for a first date: meeting the parents of your boyfriend (or girlfriend) for the first time. You want to be polite and pleasant, yet not come across as a suck up.
So, when meeting them for the first time, in this case, try, “How are you, Mr. and Mrs. (blank)? (First name of boy friend or girl friend) has told me about you; it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Do not refer to them as mom or dad, or even by their first names, until they say that it is okay to do so.
By saying it is a pleasure to meet them you are being nice without going overboard. Also, by saying that their son/daughter has told you about them, you make the point that you know something about them, but not a lot. Saying you know a lot about them will ring false, even if it is true, and you want to afford them the chance to tell you more about themselves.
As you can see, what to say when meeting someone for the first time is important, but it need not be difficult. It all depends on who the person is and why you want to meet them.