Seth Godin: How to be a great receptionist

Seth Godin has done it again with this funny bit of business humor on how-to be a great receptionist. Not only is it something most folks don’t consider as the primo job spot, it’s also one of those positions that goes without comment. Most folks just deal with the job if they are a receptionist and ignore the person if they aren’t. They’ll say “Good Morning” and continue into the inner sanctum. So this post is pretty funny if not enlightening.

Being a pretty good receptionist is easy. You’re basically a low-tech security guard in nice clothes. Sit at the desk and make sure that visitors don’t steal the furniture or go behind the magic door unescorted.

But what if you wanted to be a great receptionist?

I’d start with understanding that in addition to keeping unescorted guests away from the magic door, a receptionist can have a huge impact on the marketing of an organization. If someone is visiting your office, they’ve come for a reason. To sell something, to buy something, to interview or be interviewed. No matter what, there’s some sort of negotiation involved. If the receptionist can change the mindset of the guest, good things happen (or, if it goes poorly, bad things).

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