The Marketing Power of Your Smile

by | Jul 11, 2016 | Blog, Communication, Tips

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I had the recent privilege to accompany our client on a visit to his customer’s facility. It’s always a great opportunity when we get to step into our client’s world because it allows us to understand them that much better.

This is how I learned the marketing power of a smile.

This opportunity was especially memorable.

It was a hot, sultry day in late June in Central Ohio (you know what I’m talking about!) and we spent over an hour in a warehouse. That’s OK. We completed our mission.

When I returned to our office and immediately sucked up all the air conditioning, a colleague asked how the meeting went. When I started to answer, a light bulb came on. A really, really bright light bulb. And I smiled.

Everyone I met in that warehouse was smiling.

Let me be clear. This warehouse is a huge distribution center for a global powerhouse. From an operational standpoint it is obviously very tightly run. It is clean, it is well organized, and there are a lot of rules from my mandatory safety glasses to walls of posted operational metrics and data sheets. It isn’t air-conditioned. It isn’t glamorous. It obviously isn’t easy.

The employees, mostly zooming back and forth on forklifts, were friendly, engaging, and courteous. They spoke to us as we walked through. No one stopped the flow of work, but they were extremely present and they welcomed us into their world.

I don’t know the leadership or the management philosophy of this company, but I was certainly impressed with the culture they had created.

In my world, I call this “Internal Marketing” because the message a business sends to its employees is just as important – often more important – than the message it tries to send to customers. This warehouse was a profound example of good internal communication.

Do you have the marketing power of a smile?

Are your employees smiling?

If your employees aren’t smiling during their day then your customers probably aren’t smiling either. And that means they may not be customers for long.

The best website, the most Facebook likes, and the slickest promotions will not make up for unhappy employees, because unhappy employees can never attract happy customers.

In his book, “Start with Why”, Simon Sinek relates happy employees to their trust in their employer. “Trust is a feeling, not a rational experience,” he writes.

If your people can’t connect on an emotional level with your purpose and your expectations of them, they won’t have a clear purpose for their own work. Anything without a clear purpose cannot be effective.

Sinek continues, “those who trust work hard because they feel like they are working for something bigger than themselves.”

On one hot June day in that warehouse, I met people who trusted in their company’s bigger picture and who worked very hard because they were emotionally connected to their work.

And I’ll smile, too, now, every time I see their company logo because I remember their smiles.




Sullivan Solutions LLC. 614.799.1670


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