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March 19, 2011

What to say and what not to say.

Filed under: Etiquette,Posts With Many Comments — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:43 am

Notary Etiquette – what to say and what not to say
Politeness is hard to gauge in any society.  In a social environment, if people don’t like your comments, they just won’t associate with you.  But, in a business environment, you will lose valuable clients.  Personally, I am the worst person to write this post, because I am notorious for saying the wrong thing at every given opportunity.  On the other hand, maybe thats why I am the perfect person to write this article — I know what one has to lose by opening their mouth!
Being professional
Some people treat professionalism by being overly uptight, no fun, and addressing people as Mr Smith, and Mrs. Sutterfield.  They never crack a joke, and never express an opinion.  They will dress well, and get their job done, but were they a pleasure to deal with? Sometimes I really tune into this issue at the Japanese restaurant down the street. 
The Japanese restaurant

Its less than two miles away — a Japanese restaurant so good, its worth walking a mile to get to.  With the lack of parking, sometimes I do walk at least half a mile, and then wait to be seated. They are the best cooks, and are very professionally dressed in their black ninja outfits.  Politeness is never an issue, but there are never opinions, and small talk is …. well… “small”.  Then, a new guy started working there.  He is ultra friendly and talkative while being extremely polte.  We talk about every topic under the sun (not the rising sun).  He can talk about any subject while being careful not to criticize others.  Maybe he should be writing this blog entry!
Being friendly!
To get good reviews with the signing services, you need to be  a pleasure to work with.  Being human and friendly is part of the game — of course without sacrificing professionalism.  I really want to get responses from this blog on what the notaries consider the “right amount” of being friendly.  The trick is knowing what to talk about and how to talk about it.  With me, I’ll quickly digress into some inappropriate political discussion: a big no-no.  But, weather is a much safer bet.  But, even weather can be controversial.  Talking about rain is safe, but should you wait for the other person to bring up the subject of tsunamis just to be safe?  If its me, I’ll even ruin the subject of weather by bringing in the concept that God is upset with humans and thats why we are having the tsumani.  I’ll alienate borrowers even with the safest of topics.  Maybe I should stick to hurricanes.  At least with hurricanes I can blame the government for being neglegent about building levies, and leave God out of it!!!
Safe topics
Traffic is a safe topic, especially for me, since its clearly the fault of humans and not God’s wrath. But, what if you are late and talk about traffic.  Then, its no longer fun conversation — its an excuse… There’s a no-no!  Only talk about traffic if you are on time!  If its me, I’ll ruin even a nice conversation about traffic, by blaming the government for keeping gas taxes so low.  After that remark, even the socialists will outcaste me!  But, its true — if gas were $7 per gallon, there wouldn’t be any traffic — ever!!!
Fashion – is it safe?
Fashion could go either way.  It depends on whether the other person has the same tastes as you.  But, sticking to more “universal” topics like where the best sales are for general items is relatively safe.  Talking about general items is politically correct, but when it gets into tweed blazers, you are entering an area of sociological barriers.  The professors will like the conversation, and everyone else will raise their eyebrows!
Guns and Religion?
Obama really blew it with this comment.  Religion teaches peace, so how can religious people love guns so much?  Do they want to fight for peace? Don’t talk about this at a signing!  But, if you can pull off talking about what happened at church last week without alienating those of a different caste, creed or faith, I’ll be impressed.  If you can make this type of conversation “universal” in nature, you are a professional at knowing what to say and how to say it.  I would personally give you a reward!
OHG… stay away!!!  The most political statement you can get away with is how you bumped into Obama at the swimming pool.  That will work.  You can mention how he out swam you.  I heard he keeps very fit!

If you follow these tips, you will be a more professional notary!

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  1. I always have my husband with me, he is also a Notary. When I go into a persons home or office the first thing I do is look around for photo ect.
    If I see photo of children or grandchildren I get them talking about them. If the husband was in the US armed forces; then, since my husband was in Air Force they start talking abut that.
    Anything to make the customer more comfortable with you and more alert to what you are saying.

    Comment by Eva Covey — September 3, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  2. Juliette Winkfield…

    A big thank you for your blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great….

    Trackback by Juliette Winkfield — November 27, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  3. I will go along with Eva…I look at pictures of children, family, hobbies and comment on family pets. Everyone enjoys talking about themselves, so that is always a winner. I am with you on my conversation about politics, if someone mentions the weather, I am tempted to go Weather Underground…I refrain! I welcome the challenge of getting the Borrowers to relax during my journal entries and by the time we start on signing of the documents, they are usually relaxed…and that is accomplished by allowing them to talk…about themselves or their pets…I just listen and smile!

    Comment by Anamaria Moore — August 27, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  4. I can usually pick up on their uneasiness about having a stranger enter their domain…and then again, some folks are just not too much on chat-chatting. They want to take care of business and get it over with and that is when I succinctly communicate the business at hand!

    Comment by Anamaria Moore — August 27, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  5. Well, When I walk into a signing with borrowers, I can usually get a feel of how it will go. If they’re uptight and just want to get on with the signing, and no small talk, then thats how it will go. But, if they’re talkers, then I feed off what they want to discuss, listening to them, talk about how they make a good salsa or tamale, I listen and compliment allot!!! The signing goes smooth and when I leave, I am smiling and so are they.!!!

    Comment by Mary Poncedeleon — December 30, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

  6. I have done a LOT of Loan Modifications and contacting the borrowers is sometimes difficult. They know that they are in financial trouble and often answer the phone as if you are going to harrass them about their debt. It is very important for me to make signing these packages a very pleasant experience for them. Most of the time the lender is making this service available at no cost to the borrower in an effort to let them retain their property. When the paperwork indicates this I start with making them aware of this in my initial phone call.
    I was at a Loan Modification this week with a borrower in a very old house needing repairs, and I met a representative from the bank at the signing. The borrower began talking about the 100 year old house and how his family had lived there for decades. Allowing him to talk about the property and it’s history and just letting him talk made him very comfortable and the signing was pleasant for him. Perhaps that is the goal for all of us at every signing, to make it a pleasant experience.
    I try to talk about anything that the borrower is interested in, and to do a lot of listening.

    Comment by betty — May 15, 2015 @ 11:50 am

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