As a marketing executive, I have conducted interviews and been interviewed on many occasions. For those individuals I have interviewed over the years, I am often taken aback by their lack of knowledge and preparation in advance of our meeting.
Job candidates frequently have not taken the time to review our website, let alone conducted any research into our business, our clients and services. The same can be said for vendors with whom I have scheduled a meeting, only to have them say, “So, what do you do here?” We are all busy people, and if my employment opportunities and/or business are not important enough to the candidate and/or vendor to do some basic research, they will quickly be shown to the door.
On the flip side of this scenario, it is incumbent upon me to prepare for client meetings, potential client interviews, and meetings with community and government leaders. Baker Creative is a certified woman-owned small business established more than 14 years ago. As a small business owner, I do not have the luxury of a staff to screen these individuals in advance. I expect a modicum of effort from the candidates to make our meeting interesting and productive as we engage in a meaningful discussion of our field, trends, and services in exploring how we may benefit each other through collaboration.
We are considered a “disadvantaged business” by virtue of our minority status and size. Research conducted in preparation for serving our clients and growing our business has been essential to our success. We have developed research labs and platforms to support our business development efforts in addition to offering these services to our clients.
We respect and value those individuals who show us this courtesy and want to know us better, to do business with us. We strive to express and demonstrate the same level of engagement to our colleagues and business partners. It takes more than rubbing sticks together to start a fire. It takes preparation and matches.