The word “hello” might be the most well understood, yet misunderstood words in the English language (or for any language for that matter).
The word itself doesn’t actually matter, but it is the way you say it that will dictate not only how it will be received, but the entire perception that a person may have of us. If we know this is the case in a personal setting, why don’t companies offer the same approach with their initial interactions with people.
Having a “strategy for greeting” seems a bit far-fetched to some, but realistically it isn’t too far off what we do on a day to day basis. Every person at a networking event goes in knowing their personality, and by extension, knowing how they usually go about greeting people. Consequently it would make sense for companies to adopt a similar attitude when viewing their interactions with clients, prospective hires and so on.
Hello, World – A greeting or a mantra?
We’ve heard the term “hello, world” used in computer programming for many years. Though the statement might seem like something that a computer would say, it seems to have a deeper meaning when applied to organisations.
When a computer says “hello, world”, it is making a first impression. This first impression is so important to the overall perception that we first had of computers in the 1980s, when most people were afraid of the “robots taking over”. That small phrase, combined with some clever marketing campaigns from the likes of Apple and Microsoft formed the widespread adoption of computer technology. This probably wouldn’t have happened if computer programming used a more sinister phrasing, like “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US”.
The “hello, world” phrase is friendly, and puts a clear line in the sand to suggest that the computer was there to serve us as humans, and to be a “bicycle for the mind”. Consider the same greeting when we see certain companies in operation. For instance, Best Buy in the USA or Australia’s own JB Hi-Fi, every single person that walks in to the store must be greeted with a greeting as part of their company policy. This is designed to create intention to connect, which is very powerful in both sales and marketing.
A greeting is a means of connection between companies and people. Greeting, isn’t really a greeting at all. For companies, a greeting is an initial contact from which everything else stems from. By having a policy on attempting to connect, you can make customers, clients, new hires, and even current staff feel considered. Building a greeting and welcoming culture has implications across the board.
The ultimate goal of all this is building engagement. By having a strategy on making initial contact, and how best to do it, you are almost certainly guaranteed a better chance at creating a sense of engagement and connection with whoever your audience may be.