DON the IDEA GUY (Writer/Creative Consultant)
NOTE: My inbox has 511 emails, and these were the only 6 that stood out. That’s exactly 1.1%. What does that tell you?!
Email signatures are wonderful. Use them. But don’t put TOO much information. Whatever program you use for email – Outlook, Eudora, Yahoo, Hotmail – find out how to customize your signature. There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving an email from someone who wants to talk further, get together or have you send her something, that doesn’t have any personal information in the email. At the end of every email you send, cross reference the following information:
- Mailing address
- Phone numbers
- Email address
- A few sentences about yourself, your company or your job
Think how many emails you send out each day: what if each one reinforced your personal brand?
Answering the Phone
I once read an article about a seedy bar in North Carolina called “He’s Not Here.” The name originated from an owner who was accused of attracting customers of the, shall we say, unfaithful nature. And because of the fear of jealous wives rampaging for their husbands, the bartender always answered the phone by saying, “He’s not here!”
Now, although the personal brand of that business isn’t exactly proper, you’ve got to admit – that’s a damn clever way to answer the phone. And consistent. And memorable. And funny.
Sadly, only a small percentage of people do this; either because they’re too lazy, they’d rather just utter the canned “This is Jim…” or they can’t think of anything creative to say.
A few years ago I was invited to be a guest on a local morning show to talk about my first book, HELLO, my name is Scott. But I knew the DJ’s would give me a hard time. So, when they dialed my number (on the air) and waited for me to pick up, I answered with, “HELLO, my name is Scott…?”
The three DJ’s started laughing so hard, I had to hold the phone away from my ear! They were dying! They even complimented my creative approach to answering the phone. And so, ever since then, I’ve never answered the phone another way – and people still laugh almost every time.
Among all the mediums through which we communicate, voicemail always gets treated like the redheaded stepchild:
“Hi this is Randy. Leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you.”
This is an example of a typical outgoing message that makes callers feel like they really are talking to a machine. Now, we all hear this cookie cutter message about a dozen times daily. And it doesn’t necessarily make a voicemail message bad; but it does mean the voicemail is not being fully leveraged.
My friend Gina owns a company called It’s Your Stuff. She is a Professional Home Stylist who creates a designer look in people’s homes with their existing furnishings, art and accessories. I called her the other day, and although I missed her, here’s what her voicemail said:
“Hi you’ve reached Gina of It’s Your Stuff. Sorry I missed your call, but I’m out making someone’s home beautiful! Please leave a message.”
These examples should stimulate some great ideas to find ways to incorporate more of you in all that you do. Remember: your personal brand underscores all that you do and say. But don’t forget to make it manifest in all the media through which you do and say it.
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Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, "the world's foremost field expert on nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He speaks to companies and associations who want to become UNFORGETTABLE communicators – one conversation at a time. For booking or more information, go to www.hellomynameisscott.com.
Buy The Power of Approachability from Amazon.com