Meeting members of other clubs, especially for the first time, carries the most weight as you only have one chance at a first impression, and the impression given affects the entire CVMC organization.
Before an introduction:
- Remove your sunglasses and gloves
- Put out or put aside anything in your hand(s)
- Have your kutte open as a sign you are not concealing a weapon
- Approach calmly and in a non-threatening manner, and do not approach quickly
- Do not interrupt an ongoing conversation, but wait for a break in the conversation or to be acknowledged;
- If you are not acknowledged in a reasonable amount of time, return later and do not linger or eavesdrop;
During an introduction:
- If introduced incorrectly by someone else, wait until the introduction is done, then politely introduce yourself correctly.
- During an introduction to a 1% club, show your shaking hand is ready, but wait for their hand; do not extend yours.
- Never reach across a gate, table or circled group of people; go around the outside of the circled group, and around any obstacles to shake a hand.
- Introduce yourself in the following manner every time for every new person you meet without exception:
- Hang-Around: “Countrymen Hang-Around <first name>”
- Prospect: “Countrymen Prospect <first name>”
- Chapter Officer: “Countrymen <officer title> <road name>, <county>”
- National Officer: “Countrymen National <officer title> <road name>”
- Make eye contact, speak loudly and clearly with an extended hand.
- Avoid touching another patched member’s colors during a “bro hug”; aim your non-shaking hand for the high back above the center patch or the shoulder.
- Some may not acknowledge your wife or girlfriend, especially at a first meet; this should not be considered disrespectful.
- Many clubs have women members; treat the same as any male member.
- Outside of a handshake, never touch people you are just meeting or put your arm around them like a buddy.