In my ongoing efforts to expand my work with corporate clients, I attended Out for Business, a business conference sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) last week in Seattle to learn about doing business with corporations. I have much to learn about how a micro-business such as mine works with multinational corporations. But one thing is for sure: it all starts out with a relationship between me and just one other corporate representative.
Does this sound familiar to you? Navigating the corporate world is far less daunting when I think of it as striking a relationship with just one other person who is within a company versus thinking about relating to a corporate entity. It puts it on a human level for me.
This is why putting your best façade forward – from face to foot – is so important. When meeting someone for the first time, it’s important to appear authentic and be memorable to people who come into contact with so many people.
While at the conference, I met with several such corporate representatives and introduced my image consulting practice to them. In one situation, after explaining that I help corporate workgroups and executives develop effective visual brands to properly represent themselves and their companies through image development, the representative was stumped. “Maybe our Gen-Y’s could use your services, but I don’t see much of a need here,” said the representative, sounding anxious to have our 15-minute speed date terminate. I suggested that Gen X’ers and Baby Boomer employees feel competitive with the Gen-Y’s are just as likely to benefit from the same presentation, Anyone who has not updated their look in a few years would similarly benefit. Somehow, I knew the message was not getting through.
Then it hit me. How can I explain these values to a corporate buyer who does not personally adhere to them? My answer? Find another corporate buyer at that company and try again. Fortunately, many other companies sent representatives to this conference who do understand the strengths that come from developing personal presentation strategies and who see how their companies and employees would benefit from working with me. Those were optimal introductions.
One of the cool things about blogging is that it gives me an opportunity to share some of the ‘behind the scenes’ activities I’m involved in as a business owner. I’m dedicated to working with my private clients of executives and professionals. But I also enjoy helping groups of people create personal change for the benefit of themselves and their employers. Expanding how I help others is how I intend to grow my business and experience personal growth.
Designing and managing your image is the secret science to your success.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps professional men and corporate workgroups create effective visual brands. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.