Monthly Archive for: ‘August, 2011’
Are you always late getting to meetings, events and places? Do you figure you have done the best you could to get there on time and it’s got to be good enough that you even showed up? Do you assume that no one will really notice or mind that you are late? Do you beg for forgiveness when you get somewhere late? Or worse, do you always have a really really really good reason why you are late…again?
We all have a tendency to have “life” come up when we are rushing out the door to get to a meeting or to work. However, at some point being late becomes more consistent and we get noticed for being the late one. If this happens, you are now stuck with a pretty ineffective and notorious personal brand.
As I always say, people buy people, not products or services. So, what does it say about you, the person I am supposedly to buy, if you are most often late to our meetings? People will draw all sorts of conclusions about you when you are late- even three or four times in a row. They assume you don’t value their time and may get offended. They assume you can’t take care of yourself and manage yourself, so how can you possibly manage their business needs? They assume you don’t have enough help to manage and properly allocate your schedule. Or they may assume you just can’t read time!! Well, maybe not so much the latter. But they may just write you off as being ignorant of time.
I have someone who handles my calendar and schedules all my appointments just wonderfully. However, I had a stretch of three days where I was running ten minutes late pretty much to every appointment. It was starting to drive me crazy. I had to stop and assess what was going on because it was getting embarrassing. I realized that I was pushing the envelope and underestimating how long the commute between appointments would be. It was not any one’s fault except mine. And I wasn’t going to let it reflect poorly on my personal brand.
So if you are running late often, stop and reflect on why it is so. Do you have a good calendar blocked off well for appointments? Do you estimate well how long you’ll be in a meeting and how long it takes you to get somewhere? Do you pad your time to ensure optimal personal brand success?
Email us your best, “I’m so sorry to be late to this very important meeting story”, and we’ll publish it anonymously in our next newsletter.
Here at Puris we work with many clients either within a company or displaced from corporate America due to corporate restructuring. People looking for a promotion or a new job seem so hung up on their resume looking “good”. They spend hours and days cleaning up their resume, updating it and making it pretty.
That’s all well and good, however, I always tell clients the same thing- your resume better not be the first impression I have of you. Meaning if you are just sending out your resume randomly, odds are you are just ending up in a pile of other resumes on someone’s desk or in someone’s in-box.
The only way a resume is truly effective in this economy and job environment is if it is a follow-up documentation method AFTER you have met the individual to whom you send the resume. In this way, you have already created an effective personal brand with someone and get to remind them of how memorable (and employe-able) you are with your resume. Only then, will your resume trigger any type of effective recall for the reader of the resume.
Guess what this means? You guessed it. This means you have to show up to a multitude of places and get to know people by talking to them and reflecting your effective personal brand. Most people call it networking. I call it getting out there and showing up in the world with a genuine interest in others and your personal growth.
Here’s to your resume never being your first impression to others!
The more I work with individuals, either within a company looking to get promoted or those having lost their jobs looking for a new one, the more I realize a huge missing link for job seekers.
It seems people don’t realize that people buy people. We don’t initially buy your credentials or fabulous resume. We buy YOU, as the person!! The statistics are indisputable. 75% of all buying decisions (that includes buying people) are based on what emotions are stirred up for us, not so much about the content of the product or service.
What does that mean? This means that as a potential employee or current employee looking for a promotion, you need to be keenly aware that your personal brand and unique selling proposition is what sells you.
As an employer, I’m looking for that well-rounded individual that fits the job description completely: you must have a polished and well-thought out appearance, behavior and have the communication skills to effectively communicate with staff, prospects, clients and network optimally. In short, you must have that self-confidence in your physical and mental abilities.
I totally realize that when you have lost your job or don’t like your current job, you don’t necessarily have and display high self-confidence. But that high self-confidence is exactly what you need to develop. This self-confidence is easily recognizable by and attractive to employers. We all want to be around self-confident people. High self-confidence translates into being memorable and effective as a human being.
Have you reflected on and refined your personal brand lately?
Your effective personal brand is in large part about how you communicate who you are to your target market and clientele. Given that 78% of all communication is non-verbal AND given that we spend so many hours on the phone selling and working, having effective body language and posture over the phone is just as critical as having effective body language during an in-person meeting.
When we are going out to see clients or prospects or to a networking event, we spend time and effort (hopefully!) on our visual appearance. We take time to (hopefully!) give ourselves a pep talk and get ready to be “charming”. However, people notice and pay attention to your phone voice and tone, too. So why shouldn’t you spend time getting ready to make phone calls, too?
Your posture and how you feel about yourself as you make or take a phone call speak volumes to the other party on the call with you. I’ve run many experiments to test this theory. We’ve had people answer the phone in a less-than pleasant mood, while slumped over in their chair wearing pajamas. The party on the other end of the call often times remarked concern and asked, “Is everything ok? You sound not well.” Is this how you want to be remembered on the phone?
- Dress the part- while you don’t have to wear a suit to make a phone call, ask yourself if you’d be happy to be on a visual call while you are on the phone. If the answer is “no”, then your phone voice and tone will resonate that same lack of self- confidence to the other party over the phone.
- Smile as you talk. Your smile will transfer non-visually into an effective personal brand for you over the phone.
- Sit up straight in your chair as you talk on the phone.
- Give your full attention to the party on the other line. Shut down your email and do one thing at a time so you can do it well.
- Uncross your legs so you are grounded and feel stable as you speak.
- Listen and pause- don’t do all the talking.
I often walk into offices and am shocked at the surroundings. It seems that business owners may be aware of the fact that they need to have a personal brand that resonates with their business in order to stand out and be memorable to their prospects. HOWEVER, sometimes I wonder if they realize the interior design and layout of their business needs to have the same feel and effect.
This week’s blog post features my friend and colleague, Ekaterina (Katia) Kohlwes, principal/designer of Mindful Design Consulting. Katia is a dynamic and creative designer whose works speaks for itself. As Katia so beautifully states it on her website, “great space is not branding, great feeling is”.
Below is an interview Puris did with Katia:
Puris: How did you get into this line of work? Why do you do it?
-Katia: Drawing and design are my passions in life! I feel that I was blessed by getting these talents probably from my parents who are very creative people. One day, long time ago, I was helping my friend to redecorate her apartment when she told me that I have a gift and that I should pursue a design career. When I took a few interior design classes at SF City College my design professor, Jerry Chen, also commented that I have a talent and that I should get into architecture. From there it simply unfolded by itself. I got my first job before even finishing my design classes at the City College by merely showing my portfolio. At jobs I was doing design work similar to what educated architects would do when I realized I do need to get a diploma to blend in with architects. I have been in architectural design for over 16 years working for large corporate to mid-size firms. I did get a great experience in production work, but I always felt unrealized as a designer. I knew I could make a big difference for my clients only if I had my own design company. So, here I am now, doing what I love the most!
Puris: What is the #1 thing you have found your clients take away from working with you (in terms of product and mindset/mentality)?
-Katia: My clients get a professionally designed space which makes them and their customers not only look, but feel great! I look at psychological aspects when designing spaces. What colors/style/materials would deliver a desired message to the clients? What elements will make employees feel at home, positive and healthy? These are some questions I ask myself working on any project. Architecture around us deeply effects our emotions and even our well being. It is my job as a designer to produce positive results with whatever I design to build. I wrote a small e-book on this subject which can be found here: http://mindfuldesignconsulting.com/branded-by-interior-ebook/
Puris: In the world of personal branding, first impressions account for everything. Why does a business’ interior matter so much? Isn’t the substance of the business the most important?
-Katia: Substance of a business is very important but most of the time it’s not tangible. When a new client walks in to your space they immediately create their opinion about the quality of service they will receive- first impressions, as well.. Another example is, if you deliver similar products or services, your interior/exterior branding maybe the only factor separating you from your competitor. I’ve done a simple analysis of San Diego’s Mission Valley Sears and Target stores based on this comparison. The two stores sell almost the same products but the way they represent them is two worlds apart. Take a look at this branding analysis here: http://mindfuldesignconsulting.com/newsletter/newsletter_2011_march.html
Puris: How does what you do tie into Puris’ business of personal branding?
- Katia: Mindful Design Consulting and Puris Image both look at the core of how businesses represent themselves. Just like self confidence of a business owner comes from the way a person looks and feels, the confidences of the whole company comes from the way it’s being physically represented to clients by its interior and exterior. I see a lot of similarities in our work and even philosophy with Puris Image. My hope is some day to work with Puris Image on the same client from image revision of the owner to rebranding the company’s facility. That would be an exciting and an interesting project!