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You are your brand!

Everyone has heard the saying, “first impressions count” and of course the other adage, “that was so unprofessional “. When you are the owner of a business, regardless of the name on the door, you are your brand. People remember their interaction with you and that is what counts. There are a couple of key points that may sound like common sense. But it is surprising how many people will simply nod and agree. But never turn their business around by simply implementing these fundamentals. Be on time! For many people being on time is a sign of respect. So if you are late for a meeting or an appointment then you clearly do not see them as important. Think about it this way. How frustrating is it when you arrive for a business meeting or an appointment and you must wait. Time is money right? Your clients are no different from you. The way you perceive a situation is no different from the way they do. Their time is just as valuable as yours, treat it as such. Be Prepared! Picture this. You make time in your busy schedule to see a salesman who has been pestering you for months. You’ve pushed back a meeting, skipped a business lunch to hear about this revolutionary new production software. “It will save you a fortune!”, he said. In walks Salesman “X” and after the mandatory pleasantries. He opens his briefcase, pulls out a blank note pad and starts asking you mundane questions about your company.  He hasn’t taken a moment to do any research. If he knows nothing about your business how could he possibly save you time and money. Frustrating right? Don’t make the same mistake with your clients or even a meeting with your colleagues. It doesn’t take much to make sure that you have the necessary info at hand. To take the time to read over it before the meeting. Taking the time to prepare before a meeting shows a level of respect for the other person. Build Trust! All business interactions are built on a certain level of trust. Be it within the organisation or between you and your customers. If you have taken the time to get to know your clients, their interests and the challenges they face. They will more likely shop with you than with your opposition even if the price may not be right. They will be more accepting of any delay or the human error that always seems to find its way in. Show Respect! I have worked in an organisation where the CEO wouldn’t greet anyone below a certain pay grade. It doesn’t take a moment to smile and say good morning. Do this simple exercise. Next time you are served by a teller in the local supermarket or at the local coffee shop. Pay attention to their name tag and greet them by name. See how quickly it puts a smile on their faces! Paying attention to the small details of how you interact with your colleagues. Will make the world of difference in your working environment. Remember no one person is an island and we all need the help of others at some point in time. If you treat people right, they will stand by your side. Look the Part! Remember you are your brand and you must look the part. You don’t see the Priest from the local Parish conducting a sermon in shorts and a T-Shirt. So you want to be taken seriously but then you need to look like you mean business. If you are well kept, suit pressed, and shoes polished it won’t be easy to brush you off. But if you look like the janitor that may be the job you will end up doing. But this doesn’t just come done to the clothes you are wearing. If you dig through a messy briefcase. Battle to find a pen or a scrap of paper to write on. It would be hard to take you seriously. Basics, right? Take a moment to look in the mirror, think about how you conduct yourself at work. Not only with your clients but with your colleagues too. These are really just simple basics that can take you from being average to looking like that corner office should be yours. Make sure that you shop up as the Brand you want to be. The power of choice is yours

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