Who: Cathleen Jivoin
Company: Teltronics Inc.
Has Held Title For: 6 years
Previous Title: Sales rep, the Netherland Hilton, Cincinnati, Ohio
Smile! Then smile again! That's Cathleen Jivoin's advice for anyone who wants to make a good first impression. As Director of First Impressions at Sarasota, Florida-based Teltronics, which designs and assembles telecom systems, her job is to set the right mood for everyone who walks into the company's lobby. "Whatever they want, whatever they ask for, whomever they ask for, they get it," Jivoin says. "I see as many as 35 to 40 people a day, and no one leaves unhappy."
What's the best part of your job?
I love the people I work with. I've been here long enough to know almost every vendor and every customer who walks through the door. And when new people come in, I always make sure to get to know them by the end of the day. If the company stopped paying me tomorrow, I'd still be here at 8 o'clock.
Why are first impressions important?
Our vendors tell me that it makes a big difference to do business with people who care about them and their lives.
What's your best opening line?
It depends on the situation. Sometimes people arrive with a little less than a smile on, because it's early and they were up too late the night before. I might say to them, "Where's that smile this morning?" or "Good morning. It looks like you need a cup of fresh coffee."
A version of this article appeared in the June 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.