29 May 2018

Book excerpt: The Million Dollar Handshake by Catherine Molloy | Business Speaker

A quote by Catherine Molloy

Catherine Molloy is an international speaker and communication expert, specialising in leadership, sales and service. With 25 years of experience in business, training, and facilitation, Catherine has immersed herself in the fields of communication and body language psychology. Catherine is CEO and founder of Auspac Business Advantage, an award-winning training company.

The Business Speaker has shared the introduction of her new book The Million Dollar Handshake – The ultimate guide to revolutionise how you connect and communicate in business and life.

Introduction – How do you do

Watch the clock for seven seconds. What can you do in that amount of time? Not a lot, right? In fact, in just seven seconds you will make a lasting impression on the person you are meeting for the first time. If you are meeting in the hope that they will give you a job, secure a major business deal for your company, work with you for the good of your country, or become your partner in life, then that first impression means everything and you want it to be great. Even before you speak a word, the way you walk, shake hands, make eye contact and connect with the other person will tell them so much about you. Your body language will show if you are confident or if you are sincerely interested in meeting them, or perhaps it will give away the fact that you wish you were somewhere else meeting someone else. You may show that you are nervous or anxious, or that you regard the other person as your equal and respect them. Imagine having a sure-fire way to build rapport and create a win-win situation first time, every time. Feeling confident and ready to meet someone, and showing a genuine interest in them, will establish a strong foundation for what can happen next – in a meeting, in negotiations or even on a date. Central to that first meeting is the way you shake hands. I call it the Million Dollar Handshake.

In the first year of running my training company, we signed up a million dollars’ worth of business. It all grew from positive, face-to-face meetings with potential clients, and each meeting began with a conscious, confident handshake. Over the past twenty years of working for large corporations, running companies, observing people, studying, teaching and building a successful international enterprise, I use everything I learnt back in that first year. Whenever I meet someone for the first time I draw on these skills, which I’ll share with you in this book. I’ll give you the tools to hack your meet-and-greet so you can make a positive and lasting first impression. The Million Dollar Handshake is about more than making money, as you will see in the true stories throughout this book. It is also about helping you feel a million dollars, and showing you how to make your customer or client feel a million dollars too. It’s about shaking a million hands and completing a million successful negotiations and deals. It’s about making people feel good about themselves and about working with you. Giving someone a smile and shaking hands can show that you genuinely care about them; it can make someone feel well regarded and important. They might not be your million dollar customer but they will appreciate your respect for them, and who knows, perhaps one day they will be. They may even refer you to your million dollar deal.

First Impressions

A poor first impression – due to a poorly executed handshake – can immediately build a barrier between you and the person you are meeting. This problem can be overcome and eventually you can both laugh about it, but it will take you many more encounters and follow-ups to create likeability and make up for the initial negative impression. You may even need to start again. Why block opportunities when you don’t know where they will lead or what you and the other person can offer each other? Make that first meet-and-greet a success and you will instantly open channels of communication. Maximise this situation and optimise your results knowing that your first seven seconds count and that you may not get this opportunity again.

We live in the age of the handshake. All around the world people start an interaction with a handshake, from the markets in Bali to the boardrooms in New York. It’s an important tool in the international business world. In fact, the handshake is an ancient tradition but, rather than fading over time, it has persisted and become commonplace. It’s an act that can convey trust, or give away your true intentions or insecurities. Think of the attention paid to US President Donald Trump’s handshakes with other world leaders and the speed at which clips of him shaking hands go viral on YouTube and Facebook. We wonder: Will they shake hands? Will he pull the other person in? Will he be overlooked? Has he done it the right way? Does he like the person and want to build a relationship? Or is he simply trying to show he’s dominant?


Handshakes tell us so much about each other, and at the start of a professional association that information can be invaluable. The person you are meeting wants to know that they can trust you, work with you, and move forward together, and you want to know the same about them. We want to create a positive impression right from the start, which will set the tone for the relationship. What’s the correct way to shake hands?

That’s the subject of Chapter 1, in which I’ll explain how to shake hands with confidence and respect. In Chapter 2 we’ll look at all aspects of body language in the initial meeting and how it can lead to success. In Chapter 3 we’ll look at our patterns of behaviour and I’ll highlight how we each behave in particular ways. Do we sometimes need to modify the way we behave? When we take away verbal and non-verbal language we are left with people’s raw behaviour styles, and this is where the magic of conscious connection begins. Chapter 4 delves into the Million Dollar Mindset and the way we look at the world – are you confident or does your attitude or your perception make it hard for you to reach your goals? In Chapter 5 I’ll share my own experiences working around the world and help you prepare for business meetings across cultures. In Chapter 6 we’ll explore the Conscious Connection Framework and learn how to be mindful of ourselves, our surroundings and others to help form long-lasting beneficial relationships.

At the end of each chapter there is a QR code, which is your ticket to unlocking bonus online content including videos, worksheets and presentations. This book is for businessmen and businesswomen. It is for graduates leaving school or university and going for their first job interview. It will help sales people who want to show their customers and clients that they are interested in them, and that it’s not ‘all about me’. I have written it for people who, in their daily lives, will meet with others and want to make a favourable impression. Think of sales people greeting their customers, business people connecting, doctors shaking hands with their patients, new colleagues who are just meeting, and sports teams at the start of a game. How to powerfully connect is relevant for Australians on their first business trip to China or, for example, an entrepreneur from Singapore coming to a meeting in Australia and wanting to make a
good impression in their first seven seconds.

In The Million Dollar Handshake I will take you step by step through the ritual of shaking hands. What should you do? What should you say? How do you want to make the other person feel? How can you make a genuine connection? How can you show someone through your handshake that you are trustworthy and that you trust them? I will give you the tools to get through an initial meet-and-greet that goes wrong or crushes your self-confidence. Importantly, I will help you to become conscious of what you are doing, to gain confidence and to understand how you can build successful relationships. It’s time to hack your meet-and-greet. It’s the first step in the process: meet me, like me, trust me.

Let’s begin.

We hope you enjoyed this snippet of Catherine’s fabulous and insightful book.

Learn more about Catherine here

Cover of the book 'the Million Dollar Handshake' by Catherine Molloy

The Million Dollar Handshake – The ultimate guide to revolutionise how you connect and communicate in business and life

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