A few weeks ago, I talked (OK, if you know me, you know I ranted) about a food festival. While there, I tried my best to enjoy myself, but I just couldn’t get over this one huge mistake I saw every business making.
That mistake was that restaurant after restaurant was completely failing at promoting themselves. This was so mind-boggling. So my question was, “Why did they bother to participate in an outreach event if they didn’t plan to do any actual outreach?” What did they expect as an outcome?
Their failure to do something so simple (and so necessary) was completely distracting. And clearly, I’m still not over it. Here’s why.
When asking these restaurants for promotional items (menus, business cards, brochures and coupons) not only did I leave empty-handed, I was often met with blank stares and downright confusion.
Don’t get me wrong, no one was rude. But a shameful amount of the people I talked to were not open to considering my question. Kind of weird for the hospitality industry, right? I thought so, too.
If you don’t hire the right people, and treat them well, you aren’t going to like your commercials.
I’ve talked a lot in the past about people. They’re important. In fact, they’re probably the single most important piece of your business pie. They’re the ones out in the world talking about your company, their place of employment, more than anyone else.
And the way they portray your business is important.
Look at it this way: your employees are literally living, breathing commercials for your business. If you don’t hire the right people, and treat them well, you aren’t going to like your commercials.
So take into consideration promotional potential when you hire. I’m not talking about the employee’s ability to succeed, although that’s important. I’m looking at how well they can sell my business. Of course, you’re probably already taking this into consideration in marketing, sales and other aspects of the business that absolutely demand a promotional personality. But what about the engineers? What about IT?
Yes, you still need to think about promotional potential with those jobs. Here’s why: everybody talks. While a person’s ability to do their job and do it well should be at the forefront of any hiring decision, think about how they’re likely to talk about your business to others. Are they negative and inclined to talk down about their employer? Or, are they positive and want to shine light on the best parts of their job?
Don’t for one second undervalue the promotional power of your people.
How can you help?
There’s a positive correlation between treating your employees well and them promoting your business properly. If you’re an asshole, they’re going to tell people you’re an asshole. And that doesn’t reflect well on the business. If you’re fair and honest, they’ll say that too.
Don’t for one second undervalue the promotional power of your people. They can make or break your business if you play your cards right (or wrong).