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Handshake Intimidation

In some situations, attempting to intimidate the other person will actually increase the amount of rapport you gain with them. CEO introductions, meeting other salespeople (and competitors), and sales job interviews come to mind.

Other times its just plain fun to assert a little power in a situation.

Here's the technique for giving a "power handshake" that communicates that you are confident, in control, and not afraid to use it.

  • Reach to shake first, with you right palm open, tilted slightly to the right.
  • Wrap your grip around the webbing between his thumb and index finger, just past where his four knuckles join the fingers to the hand.
  • Squeeze firmly (squeeze really hard if you are greeting a competitor).
  • Give the grip a twist of about a quarter turn or so to the left of center.
  • The key is getting your grip first into the area past where the four knuckles join the fingers to the hand. Once your hand is in here, the other person will be unable to squeeze anywhere near as hard as you can. This establishes your dominance in the situation.

    Use this technique carefully. Using this technique on people who are easily intimidated, will only make gaining rapport even more difficult. However in some situations it will actually increase your rapport.

    © 1999-2004 Shamus Brown, All Rights Reserved.

    Shamus Brown is a Professional Sales Coach and former high-tech sales pro who began his career selling for IBM. Shamus has written more than 50 articles on selling and is the creator of the popular Persuasive Selling Skills CD Audio Program. You can read more of Shamus Brown's sales tips at and you can learn more about his persuasive sales skills training at

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