I spoke a while ago to the Florida Society of Association Executives and was mingling with the attendees before my speech. Somehow we got on the topic of how they’re promoting business nowadays and the booths that were set up there for that purpose.
It was then that one woman said, “You are your own booth,” which I felt was brilliant. Isn’t it true that, as a businessperson or entrepreneur, when we meet someone, we’re constantly showcasing ourselves? We’re setting ourselves up in a way that we hope will entice others to want to do business with us.
This is a great visualization to think of when we’re meeting with new clients as we always want to “set up our booths” to reflect how we want them to see us. Put another way, we want to present ourselves in a manner that draws them in, that captivates them, and that makes them want to know more.
Take a moment right now and think about what type of booth you currently have. Is it clean or a little disheveled? Does it have beautiful graphics or does it look like you cut some shapes out of construction paper and just glued them on the wall?
In your booth, do you give away free stuff to the people who visit? Do you have a candy dish to help “sweeten the deal”? What other things do you have that will make people want to step closer, to begin to ask questions, or to learn more about you and what you do?
Keeping this image in mind as we go about our careers is a great way to stay mindful that how we present ourselves to our potential clients will determine whether they’ll want to do business with us. Also, it’s a great reminder that our booths are always on display.
Take your website, for instance. You can be deep in sleep, dreaming of faraway lands, and someone could be at your website—your online booth—checking you out. The same is true for your social media pages, your online videos, or any other marketing materials you’ve created and distributed. They’re all representative of your booth, even when you’re not inside.
Like it or not, people draw generalizations based on how they interpret what they see. So, if they look at you and see that only one tail of your shirt is tucked in and one of your shoes is untied, they’ll likely conclude that you don’t care about your appearance. And if you don’t care about your appearance, then they’ll also likely conclude that you aren’t going to care about theirs either, which isn’t someone that most people don’t want to do business with.
Staying mindful of this, of the fact that “you are your own booth,” can help you create an image consistent with the traits you want your customers to know you have. Do you want them to see you as creative? Then your booth needs to look creative. Want them to see you as organized? Then your booth needs to be organized as well.
Create a booth that is uniquely you and then invite others inside. Who knows? It could be the start of a beautiful relationship.