A touch point in your business interaction is defined as any point of contact between you and your customer/contact. In other words, anything that has your company logo on it is essentially a touch point. It could be an email, newsletter, billboard, phone call, brochure, etc. In business, every single one of your touch points should be cohesive, consistent and strategic, constantly elevating your business reputation. For a personal brand, every touch point becomes even more important as it represents you. If you have not sat down and defined what is important to you as your core values, and either exercised or expressed them when you connect with others, this might be a good time to start. These core values become your “identifiers” and the reasons for others to connect with you. Why do you think it is important to know what you and your business stand for? Having clarity of the core values that define you allows you to connect with like-minded individuals and business and say “no” to those that simply don’t align with what you believe. This will save you a lot of headaches. Knowing what you stand for determines the type of activities that you choose to support. It is a barometer that allows you to make the right choices. For example, if you were not a pet person, would you get wholeheartedly involved in a national pet initiative? Probably not. On the other hand, if you were absolutely passionate about children and knew in your heart that education was a top priority for you, you would have no doubt about getting involved in a children’s educational camp. Most people go through life attending to whatever comes their way without really thinking about how those requests align with who they are. Once you have defined your beliefs, it is now time to express them in every touch point. As the founder of The Fig Factor Foundation that serves young Latinas ages 15-25, I encourage and mentor young ladies in the importance of solidifying their core values and standing for what they believe in. I also emphasize the impact of every decision they make, as they also become touch points with those closest to them and the community at large. Every decision you make has the ability to elevate or disappoint someone in your ecosystem. At a recent workshop by Steve Yastrow, I recently came across a great diagram that explains how our touch points can do one of two things. Your touch point can either lead to … A TRANSACTION: This is when your connection with someone else is not memorable. It does not move the relationship anywhere. It might in fact, create a detrimental effect if the business interaction is negative, and could degrade the relationship. It usually happens because there is no interest to advance the relationship or because the individual that started the connection does not have the best interest of the other person in mind. AN ENCOUNTER: This is defined as a connection that leaves a lasting impression on the other person. It is memorable. It all starts with something that I learned about in Dale Carnegie so many years ago—cultivating a genuine interest in the other person. For example, you know that your client loves golf and you show up to a meeting bringing a little gift related to golf. You then tell them about a golf outing coming up and offer to do an introduction to the host. When your touch points become an encounter, it creates an amazing spark! Once you have defined a touch point as an encounter, then you have an opportunity to make a truly lasting impression. Next time you connect with someone in your business interactions, make it an encounter and even add a little spark of “amazing” with genuine interest in them. You’ll feel the difference and so will they!