You can be sure I will not be discussing the “selfie” of you and your client; and, it does not matter a hoot whose idea it was. Rather, I will (attempt) to explore the components of notary image. Some are readily apparent. They are on the “checksheet” of “notary appearance” and ask if your shoes are shined and if it’s clean under your fingernails. Oddly, they never include the manicure?
But, I will grant that part of your image is certainly your appearance. Routine Business Casual seems to be the baseline, with a suit being the usual top tier. I have yet been asked to wear a Tuxedo to a signing. Perhaps that’s next. At the other extreme: I freely admit to going to some appointments truly slovenly. Usually, I have been working on my 1974 Honda CB360 motorcycle when the call comes in. My grandpa had an expression worth sharing. “Truth is the greatest labor saving device; and I’m basically lazy”. Putting that wisdom into practice, when I am “a mess” I TELL the caller exactly what and why. Some jobs are rush, the person must leave soon. When that is the type of call they get choices. I can leave immediately on my Honda and go to you, but dogs will howl and babies will cry when they see me. Or, I can add half an hour to my arrival time and have a decent appearance. Or, you can call someone else on http://123notary.com
The QUALITY of the work you do bears greatly on your image. When you stamp do you hit a part of an area you intended to avoid? How about spending some practice time with your stamp? Have you mastered the art of checking your work, or do your eyes glide over the error because you are scanning rapidly? Do you decline the absurd requests to arrive at a long past time. Don’t laugh; I’ve actually had some schedulers insisting that the scheduled appointment time remain in the past! Is personal best your routine effort? Have you recently reread your governing laws? Do you challenge yourself with semi-impossible situations to devise a practical and legal solution? Perhaps the worst possible situation is considering yourself incapable of improvement.
Let’s move past looking good and doing good. Few seem to discuss how to discuss. O I know, the components of documents are definitions. But, it’s how you speak that plays a large part in the image you present. You are not expected to be a world class orator. You do need a bit of debating skill; and not be an annoying interrupter. Your spoken vocabulary immediately gives the impression of being educated or not. Inept communications often start with “I mean, like, the way it is, is like….” Uggh! Your clients listen to you, and most listen carefully. Do you listen carefully? If you are not positive of what is being asked, do you ask for clarification? You are not The Grand Imperial Notary; so don’t talk “at” or “to” your client; talk “with” them. Converse.
I have been in tense, almost hostile situations. You can diffuse the animosity by being sincere. Being you is the most important part of your image, and it should not be “forced” but allowed to flow naturally. Make the point that you genuinely want to help with your words and actions. And, also, that you are constrained by notary law in what you are permitted to do. You are in the wrong profession if you don’t like working with people, all people. Most of all be yourself. It takes but a few moments to thank, handshake, and wish them success in their endeavor.
An image is a complex thing. Sure, the old saw about first impressions is somewhat true. But, when they see that you are capable and dedicated; their image of you soars. Concentrate on the lasting impression that you leave by your words and skillful deeds.