Jack Daly, sales coach and trainer, frequently asks his audiences, “What does your company culture smell like? Does it smell sweet, or does it stink?”
When I first heard these questions, they seemed rather strange. In addition, what does Daly’s message about creating unique and sustainable sales techniques and opportunities have to do with a company’s culture?
The reality is that it has everything to do with it. The how, what, where, when, why, how much and by whom of sales start with the culture and all the human senses that are driven by the culture. What does it look like, sound like, feel like, and – to Daly’s point – smell like?
When a company culture stinks, it negatively affects the perception of how customers, employees, vendors and the community perceive the company. Because a person’s perception is his or her reality, it also means that the opposite is true – those same groups of people will be inspired to do business with, or be connected to, a company whose culture is fragrant (healthy).
If we want people to have the best perceptions about our company, we need to make sure the culture is on rock-solid ground and smells as refreshing as a spring rain.
Think about the message customers receive when they walk into a business 11 minutes before the published closing time and are greeted by a less than genuinely interested representative of the company.
And, what about the enthusiastic employment candidate who drives into the parking lot of a business for an interview, and sees that the landscape is overgrown, the dumpster is overflowing and the signage is confusing or too small to read?
On the other hand, when a business’ culture smells sweet, everyone can feel the “hug” – the property is clean and well-maintained, and visitors are greeted with a genuine welcome regardless of the time or circumstance:
“Hello Mr./Ms. Jones. It’s nice to see you. How are you today, and how can we make your day more special?”
Meanwhile, what’s happening in the business?