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Posts tagged ‘professional’

The Professional Introduction – 7 Tips (to not be creepy)

Here’s the scene: you want to meet someone—a very important someone who can do important things for your career—but you’re not sure how to get to them… to meet them, to contact them… Then, you come across an individual who can help. She knows that someone, and she can introduce you to that someone, and she is willing to make the introduction for you. SWEET!spock

Let’s be clear, though, she is not recommending you—you both just met for goodness sake. She is not going to coach you, mentor you or be your best friend. She is merely offering to help you make the first contact with someone who can benefit you.

Okay, so she gives you this important someone’s contact information, and while doing so, she tells you a little bit about the important someone: why she is making the introduction, why that someone is as important as she seems, ways that you can benefit that someone and thereby develop a mutually beneficial relationship…

Here are some tips for YOU as you go about the professional introduction process:

  1. Pay attention to details: before you meet the important someone, pay attention to the details you are being offered about that person
    • How do they like to be contacted: phone, email, short get-to-the-point messages or long flowery flattering prose, etc.
    • Why is the person making the introduction bothering: why do they think the very important someone is so important (this is key to earn brownie points with both people—mention this specifically), how will the important someone possibly benefit from the introduction, what can YOU expect from the introduction, etc.
  2. Always have the end and the important someone’s best interests in mind. In other words, know what YOU want and anticipate the needs of the important someone, and when introducing yourself, mention how you intend to meet their needs and go for the ask—what you are offering to do and why (by the way—don’t bother mentioning much about what you need or why—frankly, no one cares much beyond mere curiosity)
  3. Highlight your skills and what specifically you are offering: if it’s obvious that you’re just in it for what you can gain, expect to receive a polite brush-off
  4. Do not expect the person who made the introduction to care one way or another if you got what you needed out of the introduction—they have two concerns: a) did they make a mistake in introducing you to this important someone and b) will any of their needs be met because they made the introduction. YOU don’t matter.
  5. If the introduction goes well, you contacted the important someone properly: you were polite, kept your message short and simple, highlighting the benefits of your offer along with why you are the right person to provide whatever it is… were specific in what you wanted and how this will benefit the important someone, GREAT WORK! Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, you were successful in your introduction, and the important someone will very likely remember that
  6. If you screw up the introduction: get verbose, overly familiar, lack clarity in what you want and how it will benefit the important someone, and at worse come across as insulting and uninformed about the important someone… I have some good news for you: you can only improve form here! It’s not likely you’ll do worse the next time.
  7. The worst kind of introduction is not bothering. Go ahead and make the mistakes if you must, and if things don’t seem to go your way, seek out advice. You may have blown your chances with both the very important someone and the person who bothered to introduce you, but that doesn’t mean you’ve blown your chances with the world. Professionals are very often willing to give advice, coach and mentor—you can even hire a professional coach to help you fine-tune your skills. It does matter.
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Daphne’s List of 7 (Part 2): Values-Centered Branding

 Daphne’s List of Seven–VALUES-CENTERED BRANDING STRATEGY For Visionary professionals 

DEFINITION: Values-Centered Branding is when your brand directly and clearly reflects the values of your public. Your brand goes beyond marketing products & services–you are marketing the values of your customers–your public–by amping up the image of these values and reflecting them back to your public. Your brand is about representing and mirroring values that your public holds dear.

 

E.G. Nike doesn’t market shoesThe company markets values. Oh, and by the way, you can buy a really expensive pair of athletic shoes that show the world that you are all about those same values: “Just do it,” “Pledge your heart to the game,” all about endurance, character, commitment, perseverance, etc. McDonald’s doesn’t market hamburgers. Coca-Cola doesn’t market soda. The list goes on… These companies market experiences, emotions and VALUES.

(hint: they should be the same)

2. Who is your public–your customers/clients? What do they value? If you’re not sure, ask them. I promise, they will tell you.

3. Values match: Do your values match theirs? If not, work on this so that they do match.

(hint: sometimes a very progressive visionary company is in a position to attempt to amplify the existing values of its public, usually by increasing the visioning capacity of its public. Imagine a more compassionate, resourceful, sustainable and collaborative culture. Imagine homes, food and clothing for all. Imagine art and creativity is as valued in education as math and reading. Imagine teachers are paid their worth.)

4. Create the image: Imagine the future is already here–what does this picture look like? If the values your business represents become a large part of the culture, what will change? Define the image of that change.

(hint: This is not your logo. This is an image that can speak louder than words–can be a video, a photograph or something more creative. It is at least visual or at most multi-sensory)

5. Tie this into your communications strategies: key messages, elevator speeches, ad campaigns, media relations, blog and Twitter posts, etc.

6. Get feedback/research: Ask your public if they feel your brand is representing the targeted values well? Ask if these values are representative of the public’s values?

(hint: your overall business operations and practices must also mirror the values you promote. Your communications strategy must be woven into your business culture. In other words, you can’t claim to be a champion for valuing diverse voices and devalue the voices of some staff members. hypocrisy will be revealed sooner or later.)

7. Communicate: Respond to the individuals who took their time to give you feedback. Thank them for participating in surveys or answering questionnaires, etc. Most importantly, let them know you’re listening by taking action based on their responses. Be authentic, responsive, transparent and accountable. Think of creative ways to make sure this happens.

Want to know more? How can I help you? Please contact me daphnestreet@daphnestreet.com Web: www.daphnestreet.com

YOUR Brand = Identity

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