I liked the opener in this K@W article on “Two minute schmooze” – coined by the COO of Lee Hecht Harrison, a globar career management firm – that stresses the importance of greeting the receptionist. It goes on to enquire whether ethical behavior can be legislated as opposed to compliance that could be mandated. Though long, it has some good anecdotes. I suggest you read it.
“A receptionist is a corporate concierge. She talks to more customers, suppliers and even CEOs in a day than you will in a year” according to “Ray”, the COO.
My work involves calling on a lot of offices and schmoozing the receptionist comes naturally to me now. For good reason ; (a) I get treated well and I am a priority next time (b) I get a headstart about the firm, its business and as my visits add up, I even get tipped when a competitor tries to break in (c) My messages do get in and I do get called back as soon as people resume at their workstations. Cut the frills, isn’t it the natural reaction to the first face that smiles at you ? ….As simple as that !
What sort of people could loath it ? What would you call the creep that fails to schmooze a smile ? I get quite a few New Year greetings from companies where I couldn’t close deals or haven’t visited lately – but the bounce in their voices is unmistakable even as my memory fails to catch up with all of those I may have schmoozed.
It’s nice to know people do care. Perhaps it’s a fantastic way to start a year and believe me, I haven’t had a bad year because of that.