Have you met Scott Ginsberg? I haven’t, but I would know right away if I did.

Why? Because he’ll be wearing a nametag.

He wears one all the time, every day. Has been for almost 3,000 days straight as I write this. He even has a nametag tattooed on his chest. And he’s managed to make a pretty good living from it as an author/speaker/blogger/educator.

Scott is known as the world’s foremost authority on nametags. Really. But more importantly, he’s also an expert on approachability. Scott wears a nametag because he knows it makes him seem more approachable to the perfect strangers he encounters throughout his day.

What’s approachability? It’s just like it sounds … it’s the art, the science, the attitude of simply being more approachable. Being open. Being responsive. Going out of your way to help a customer with their needs, even if you’re in the middle of something else.

Look around your organization. How do you and your staff respond to your customers? Are customer requests a burden, or an opportunity to provide value? Social networking and social media outreach as tools (or instruments) for business are getting a lot of buzz right now among marketers, but they’re not for everyone. If you don’t want to talk to your customers … if you’re afraid of a backlash … if you’re not willing to make changes to your product or service based on the feedback you might receive, this whole online customer engagement concept might not be for you … yet.

If you want your business to dive into social media, you better be approachable first. I’m not talking about the number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers you have. I’m talking about really being willing to listen. Be ready and willing to engage on your customer’s terms. You don’t need all the answers right away. The more your customers perceive you to be approachable, the more success you’ll enjoy. And curiously enough, being more approachable to your current customers will make more prospective customers want to work with you, too. Give it a try, it’s contagious.

Think I’m wrong? Want to share your story about someone you found to be incredibly approachable? Leave a comment, send an email, send a tweet or give me a call: 386.795.8000. I’d love to hear from you, and ‘ll do my best to make sure you can approach me anytime.

For more about Scott and his work, visit his website, HelloMyNameIsScott.com, or his blog.

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