Asking employees to become a company evangelist is at an all time high. Businesses are not only expecting this of their leaders but now they expect it from all. Everyone… from the front receptionist to the part time warehouse worker. From engineering, accounting, sales, and operations. Is that fair? Is that even possible?
Getting the right message out for a new business, or any business for that matter, is crucial in today’s highly competitive market. Passion from the founder and leaders is imperative. Employee passion from their own experiences even better. They need to believe and, just as important, their peers, customers, friends, and families need to believe. They need to be moved enough to passionately tell others about what a great company, job, product, or service they have and offer. This is much more than a “like” on the company’s Facebook page.
Is this a fair request? Yes, and it’s crucial. We live in a “viral” world with unbelievable potential in getting the word out. Good or bad. And, in today’s marketplace, having nothing said by anyone can be detrimental. Especially if your competition has a plethora of evangelists. That’s why the company’s culture has to include evangelism. The problem is most companies really don’t understand what an evangelist is and who they are.
What is a Company Evangelist?
So, is this about becoming the company cheerleader? NO! This isn’t about high fiving, butt slapping, and acting like you’re hyped on caffeine all day. Company evangelists need only to believe, be passionate about their beliefs, and talk to someone. They need to talk to whoever their circle of influence is. Everyone has the power of evangelism within them at some level.
“Evangelism is selling a dream.” -Guy Kawasaki
A couple of points to consider…
1.) Are You Listening?
One of the best characteristics of any company evangelist is their listening ability. Are the company leaders – evangelists listening in a way that helps convert employees to company evangelism? Are they and their employees listening to their customer communities?
Listening, understanding, and changing are key components to company evangelism. It gives credibility which leads to belief. The evangelist feels part of something. Employee and customer evangelism will never happen without a concentrated effort and goal. It will never happen unless they believe. It will never happen unless listening takes place.
2.) Is There Real Passion?
Successful evangelism needs to be real and sincere.This can’t be faked. Employees and your customers need to be true believers. When they talk to others you can feel and physically see their excitement. Talk to a mother or father after having their newborn baby and you will understand what I mean. For that single moment you share a bond with that person and it inspires you. That’s real transparent passion.
“Company evangelism is earned.”
Who are your evangelists?
Each company will be different of course. Some will even make a position for someone to be the chief evangelist. I will tell you that it takes more than one person to make this happen.
Employees and Families
Company evangelism needs to be discussed as an integral part of the hiring process. Possible candidates need to not only understand the company evangelism culture… but who the customer communities are and what is expected to make them evangelists.
Employee families should not be exempt from this either. How many times when asked what does their family member do for a living a blank look and weak response ensues. Get the family members excited about what the company does. Make them company evangelists.
“Is Your HR department company evangelists?”
Customers and Customer Communities
Have you fired up your customer communities so much that they will take action and tell others?
A company needs to take a strong look at their customer communities. True passion from this community is always a better advertising venue. You can have all the branding in the world and it won’t replace a passionate customer. Especially in our viral social media world we find ourselves today.
Is the customer base not only full of referenceable clients but passionate evangelists? If not this needs to be a priority focus for the entire company, top down.
“Just because I like and follow a company doesn’t mean I’m an evangelist.”
Events and Presenters
How many times have you sat through presentation after presentation, at any event, and witnessed the most boring presenters. What a waste. On top of that… you go up to a booth and are presented with a lackluster explanation of their offering. “Can I get your business card for a drawing”, Would you like your card stamped”, seem more important to them than firing me up! Wow.
These venues are the perfect time and place to be the company evangelist. Show the passion and belief in what you are presenting or get off the stage. When I walk up to a booth I want to be inspired. I want to be motivated. Don’t you?
As you can see I am passionate about being passionate. Being a company evangelist is not easy. There are always issues, personalities, long hours, hurt feelings, and such that can get in the way. Don’t let it. Stay true to the course. Stay passionate and tell others. Your job will become better and your company more successful.© 2006-2018 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF | Posted on