by Sarah J.F. Braley | January 01, 2007

Mark Ginna"People make assumptions about you by your handshake,” says Mark Ginna, right, vice president of national sales for New York City-based Loews Hotels. In a business where first impressions are so important, that first meeting of hands can set the groundwork for a respectful relationship. Ginna recently created a “branded handshake” for the chain’s executives as part of a companywide training program designed to further set the chain apart in the upper-upscale marketplace. Here is a step-by-step guide to executing the Loews handshake.

Say hello. Start by introducing yourself and making eye contact.

Present yourself. While standing, hold your hand out with thumb and forefinger at a 45-degree angle. Make a web-to-web connection with the hand you are about to shake.

Keep it short. Hold contact for two firm pumps, confident and sincere.

Don’t offend. Avoid squeezing too hard, too long, offering the wet noodle, or attempting anything from a fraternity, like a high five or bumping fists.