When I was a young adult my mom used to say “Never go out without lipstick.” What she meant was that since no one knows who they might run across while they were out and about, you should always look put together. For makeup wearers and non-makeup wearers alike, most women know that even just a swipe of color on your lips can make your whole face brighter.
As an employee and later as a business owner, the phrase has served to remind me that I want to give people the impression that I’m pulled together, in control and ‘ready.’ I may not get another opportunity to make an impact.
Can you say the same? If you have employees who represent your organization, what message are they sending to customers and prospects? How would you react if I told you that the reputation of your organization is as good as your worst employee?” I bet that gets your attention!
Like it or not, everyone is part of the sales department, the service department, and probably the public relations department too.
It’s not always easy or fun to appreciate that we represent our organization every day. But every single interaction can make a difference. What can you do to up your game, be the best ambassador for your organization possible and instill that value in your employees?
Do you have an organizational website or marketing materials? Make sure everyone visits the website and reads the materials. Want to make sure that happens? Change something on the website every month and ask your people at the monthly meeting what’s changed on the site.
Do you have a Vision statement, Mission statement, or have your core values written out? Ask people what they did this week that exemplified those things. Everyone at every level interacts with internal and external customers. What kind of brand ambassador are they? Every week? If you can’t do it every day, then do it every week.
Look closely at the people you are hiring; are they a strong ambassador for your organization? The truth is that they can either hurt your organizational reputation or help it depending on how they represent it. How they look, sound, and behave all create a package of ‘who we are’ to your customer and prospective customer. It’s not something that only applies to you.
Always bring along business cards wherever you go. Yup – that means walking the dog, going to the movies, or going to a game. Everyone should have a business card if they work in your organization.
People remember – people do remember how someone looked. They will recall a smile if eye contact was made, and the kind of response received. They will remember responsiveness and follow through.
I’ve met prospects at parties, waiting in line for morning coffee, and in passing on the street. I’ve seen clients at concerts, dinners, and black-tie events. I’ve crossed paths with colleagues waiting for take-out, leaving the corner bar, and running down to ACE hardware or the library. I never know when or where I might meet someone who is interested in working with me or knows someone who might be eager to work with me. But I’m always ready
Are you ready when you are out there? Are your employees?
I may not always be wearing my best or feeling my best, but I am almost always wearing lipstick when I go out.