Know your company’s elevator speech, as well as your own
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot. I recently attended an EA event that a co-worker also attended. I heard one of the other attendees ask them what our company does. Their reply was, “a little of everything.” I wanted to die. I’ve fought long and hard to get company buy-in for these professional development activities. Part of that battle was proving it beneficial to the company as well as myself. “A little of everything” does nothing to sell my company. It does not give any possibility of partnership. It shows no pride in the company.
Please remember every single person you meet is an opportunity. While it is important to promote yourself, it is equally important to promote your company. This is especially true if the company is footing the bill for you to attend a conference or event.
Every employee is a brand ambassador. Engaged employees build strong brands. By simply saying, “a little of everything” you are not demonstrating engagement. Many successful companies are so committed to the employee brand ambassador concept they have training or guidelines on what to share on social media. Some even have incentives for sharing information the company wants to get out.
All employees are salespeople. I’m an Executive Assistant, but I’ve brought business into many of the companies I’ve worked for, from hospitality, to financial, to marketing, by SELLING the business to everyone I meet. If you really want to get the attention of the Executive Team, have a large piece of potential business walk in the door and drop your name as the reason they are there.
If asked the same question, my response would be, “Jacobs is one of the largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional and construction services, including all aspects of architecture, engineering and construction, operations and maintenance, as well as scientific and specialty consulting. Recently named to the Fortune 500 list for the 17th consecutive year, we are a global firm with over 50,000 employees in over 200 locations, serving a broad range of companies and organizations. I currently support executives in our Building & Infrastructure business”
Do you know your company’s elevator speech? If not, I encourage you to do some research and rehearse what you will say the next time you are asked, “What does your company do?”