Most people go about their daily business reacting to brands all around them—or not. The work brands do to distinguish themselves makes the difference between winners and also-rans. And, the same can be said about you and how you represent your company’s brand or your personal brand.
Have you ever heard the term: Brand extension? As a representative of your company, you are a brand extension. You might say you are a Brand Ambassador. I have always felt that Human Resources Directors should weigh that in their considerations when hiring people. In other words, would this candidate make a strong ambassador for our company brand?
So, what is a brand: How do you represent your (or company) brand? An advertisement? A voice or face? An attitude or personality? Your tone? Approach? Is it your CEO? Or your website and brochure? Your brand is all of this and more.
Seems complicated huh? Well, there is a lot that contributes to your company brand —including YOU and how you represent it and what you have to say about it. You can either help your business or hurt it in the ways that you represent it.
Basically, you want visibility for your brand —and then once you get it, make sure it is for good reasons. Simply put: Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.
Now, how do you prepare when you set out to “network”? You put cards in your pocket?Figure you’ll wing it? Do think to ask who will be attending ahead of time? Have you refreshed your company narrative or :30 second elevator pitch?
Rule of thumb: Value the well-being of people above the usefulness of people. Your care for them should come before your need for them. Many of you attend networking events to increase your business, get more leads and quick growth. FORGET ABOUT THAT! Instead, consider how much influence you have that might be helpful to others. Decide to meet, greet, inquire and choose to follow up with those you wish to know better. Or better yet, those you can offer help to.
Are you representing or are you presenting? You brand will be communicated in your style, tone, demeanor, attitude, level of interest, eye contact, and even your hand shake. You are all of this and then some. So, prepare to be at your best —FOR OTHERS – not you.
Does your appearance really matter? You have 7 seconds to create an impression. So, it is better to overdress than to underdress —consider it as a situational fit. Ask yourself also, “does your style represent the brand that you are representing?”
People remember: YIKES!
- 7% of what you say
- 38% how you sound
- 55% the way we dress and act
- Be selfless, not selfish
- Keep it short
- Passion / Excitement—your excitement & passion will be memorable
- If applicable: ask to follow up
Find your opening to greet
- Hi, my name is Tom (be careful of the dip & stare to read their name tag—that’s a no no)
Find your opening to speak or inquire
- Tell me about your company
- So, what’s new in the banking community?
- I haven’t seen you before. Are you a new member or a guest?
- Listen. Listen. Listen.—between the lines, you may hear an opportunity
- where you can offer help….offer a lead, a number, or to make an introduction
Make introduction to someone else
Offer Business Card —Set up follow up call, email or make an appointment
FOLLOW-THROUGH IS KING! Think of the quarterback, the shooting guard, the golfer….they don’t make the shot unless they have proper follow-through. It won’t do you any good if you don’t follow through.
The DO NOTS!
- Chomping in your face while talking
- Do not recite your resume to impress
- Do not be too aggressive
- Do not recite “woe-is-me” stories