Monday, December 1, 2008

Does Everyone In Your Company Know Who You Are?

Does everyone on your staff know who you are? Well, of course, they know something about the company, but how would they answer the question "what is _(company)__" if asked by an outsider?

In my experience, most employees would stumble (and fail to take advantage of an opportunity) if asked that question. But there is an easy solution -- develop a short, 25-word "elevator" speech that describes these three points: who you are, what you offer, and for whom.

Draft a statement, then call in key managers (or all employees, depending on the size of your company) and give everyone a chance to react, respond and truly understand the importance of having a concise, accurate statement about the company. By having the employees draft and approve the statement, they will develop an emotional equity in the result. And, this can be a great opportunity to reinforce to all staff members that everyone can contribute to the company's business development efforts.

You should also stress to everyone that you never know when a new business opportunity will arise or have the potential to develop. Even if you don't think the person asking the question is a new business prospect, they may have a friend, relative or former college roommate who is. So everyone in the company needs to be prepared to give a consistent and accurate description of your company.

Who knows, maybe that next door neighbor who keeps backing into your mailbox may have a brother-in-law who runs a $50 million company.