Wednesday, March 26, 2008

You may look Professional – Do you act it?

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend Salt Lake City chambers meeting by a client. I was looking forward to the presentation it was advertised as “Learn the Latest on Internet Marketing and Design”.

I don't like to toot my own horn, but I am quite knowledgeable in this field. I have learned from being in this industry for so long, of course if you work on the internet your truth is “the more you know the more you need to know”!! I felt like, even if I picked up a pearl or two of information it was well worth my time.

I am not going to name names but the group that was presenting that day was a well known Internet development/marketing company in the Salt Lake Valley. It was an early morning meeting, and I arrived 5 minutes before the presentation was to begin. As I exited from my car and was running to the building a well dressed man in his twenties was just entering the building as well. I

noticed him because he looked professional, and I wondered if he was going to the same meeting as I was. As he rushed along in front of me, he opened the door and didn't have the courtesy of noticing that I was right behind him – so basically closed the door in my face.

My impression – he looked professional but was not – his manners were going to keep him from where he wanted to go. To my amazement, he was the presenter at this presentation. People were already sitting waiting for him as he arrived. The people at this meeting were professional people from different industries. The fact he was not prepared when they came in, ready to shake hands and connect in a professional way caused him business I guarantee.

Once he did manage to set up, the computer was not working properly, and the presentation was not well prepared. He rambled on and on with little structure. I tried to help him out as he was flailing, I didn’t want to take over, and it certainly wasn’t my place.

One by one these business owners left, by the end of the meeting, there were only about 6 people in attendance. After the meeting, I did have some business owners who asked for my card – and I had really held myself back only saying a few things when I felt he was making little sense.

The moral of this story – when you have a great opportunity to present to any group of people the professional presentation goes way beyond your appearance. If you are sending an employee - make sure you send the best presenter. If you are the presenter make sure you are prepared. Arrive early – Stay on the task – make sense…

Above all else make sure when you present anything about your business to a possible client that you talk in layman’s terms don’t use industry jargon…

Make sure you are using terminology people understand. IE: If you need to translate what a blog is and does – make sure you can say it as succinctly as possible…

Most of us know these common sense rules, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves – and to teach our employee’s everything that is done in the context of your business must exude professionalism!

Pamela Jacob is the owner of Artista Design. If you need a website developed or redesigned, project manager, consultant or graphic designer – you have found one. Pamela’s specialty is taking an idea and making it come to fruition. “If you want to own an online business that thrives, if you have a passion for something you want to share, if you have an idea that you want to come to life contact me. My initial consultations are FREE”.

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