Cover via Amazon
Speaking of viral marketing
, we are always looking for ways to engage our customers, contacts, associates and friends.
Last month, while gearing up to attend the Iowa Commercial Real Estate Expo in Altoona, I knew I would have an opportunity to connect with dozens of people whom I regularly come into contact with on my beat
I also knew that within 10 minutes of entering the venue, I’d probably shake hands with at least 20 people.
I like shaking hands. To me, a handshake is a sign of courtesy, respect and camaraderie. Shaking hands is a physical link between friends, family, co-workers and business associates. I would say especially in B2B relationships, shaking hands is customary and generally expected. When you shake someone’s hand, you are acknowledging that person’s worth.
But I digress.
Two days before the expo, I watched “The Aviator.”
The movie, which is about the life and times of the late Howard Hughes, shines a spotlight on the eccentric tycoon’s germaphobic disposition. According to one Wikipedia entry
, “Hughes insisted on using tissues to pick up objects, so that he could insulate himself from germs.” I watched the film with great interest as it came highly recommended. Before that, I never really knew much about Hughes’ life, except that he liked to spend mountains of cash on making movies.
The following day, a friend of mine called to tell me that one of her co-workers came to work sick and was apparently telling people in the office that she had H1N1 flu. My friend, concerned about her own health and the health of her family, shared the apparent rumor with her boss.
The “sick” employee denied ever saying she had the flu and the employer did nothing but put everyone back to work.
The events of those two days are what got me thinking about writing this post. As employers, as small business owners, as salespeople and as media professionals, we all want to “infect” others with our products, our businesses and our career aspirations. And we all know that a handshake is an acceptable, practical and tangible way to do that.
We also understand that the more often we come into contact with clients, co-workers and contacts – and the more we do to engage them face-to-face – the more “contagious” our brand will be.
Of course, if you primarily connect with people using social media rather than in person, you have less to worry about. The downside to that, however, is if you don’t make face time with your peeps a priority, they will likely never really “catch” on to who you are or what you are trying to accomplish.
Again I digress.
I'm not trying to be crass. The flu is not joke and, thankfully, I’ve managed to avoid it so far this year. And if you’re one of the unlucky ones who have caught it, I’m sorry to hear it.
All I’m saying is, let’s make sure that this flu season, we “infect” others with our brands, not ourselves.
Here are three simple things you can do to reduce your risk:
- If you are sick, stay home. Enough said.
- If that’s not possible, let associates know that you may be coming down with something and aren’t shaking hands for a few days. They will understand and even thank you for it.
- In my workplace, where reporters and salespeople are constantly chasing down leads, bottles of hand sanitizer are popping up like dandelions in springtime. Use it, share it, use it again.
For more tips on sanitizing the workplace, click here.
- Todd Razor