The Granny Lesson

My mom and dad have seven grandchildren. Three live in the US and four live in Ireland. The ones who live in the US live relatively close to my parents so they see each other often. The grandkids in Ireland, however, don’t have the benefit of being with my parents much. But, that hasn’t affected their relationship. The kids Skype with my parents on a weekly basis so that they can see and speak with each other. It’s as good as living down the street.

One of the last times my mom went to Ireland, my youngest nephew, who was three at the time, saw her in the airport and went running up to her and gave her a huge hug. He knew who she was and was thrilled to know that his granny was going to spoil him for the next week or so.

I have channel partners all over the Americas. We email often and have good, productive, email exchanges. However, it’s the phone calls and in person meetings that are the best. We can relate to each other and there’s something about sitting in a room with someone and hearing their voice that changes a relationship. Words written in an email can be taken so many different ways so if you don’t have an established relationship, then words can easily be taken the wrong way. When you sit face to face or hear a voice over the phone, you can get the tone of the voice and can really get a better understanding of what the person with whom you’re speaking, really means.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have built strong relationships with my channel partners over the phone, and of course email, that when we meet face to face, it’s like we’ve know each other for years, understand each other and give each other hugs. (For the record, I don’t suggest hugging people you don’t have a relationship with and if you’re unsure about it. A smile and handshake will work just as well.)

My challenge to you,  get out of the email rut, stop texting, walk over to someone’s desk, pick up the phone or hop on a plane and meet someone face to face. The bond that you build can be as strong as my nephew’s and my mom’s.

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Start With Turning on the Faucet

I have all sorts of blog ideas stuck in my head and some I’ve even put in draft form, but I just haven’t written a full one in a while. I have time blocked out every evening to write, but every evening I find something else to do and move the calendar slot to the next night. I love writing but for some reason, I am fantastic at procrastinating when it comes to writing.

I just got an email from IMPACT and it was a list of quotes to get someone past the writers block. This one in particular, got me motivated enough to writing something. “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour, Author.

Everything I write doesn’t have to be perfect, ground breaking or even interesting to everyone. I have to accept that and move on. As I write this, I realized that the same thing applies to my relationships to my partners, coworkers, friend and family. You don’t have to have a reason to talk to someone, just talk. Start by saying “Hi, how are you?” or “Hi, how was your weekend?” and the water will flow.

We get so caught up in our daily to do list that sometimes we forget to be human. I have to talk to this person about this, and that person about that. How about talking to someone just because you want to, not because you need to? Crazy concept, but when you go to someone for the heck of it and not because you need something, you might actually build a two-way relationship and get a lot more out of the conversation than you ever thought you would. Stop thinking about what you need from someone and start thinking about him or her. People aren’t action items, so make sure not to always treat them that way.

Turn the faucet on and the water will flow, relationships will build and in the end you’ll get all the water you need.

Check out the IMPACT blog here which will give you some quotes to get you writing…it worked for me.

Social networking is more popular than porn?!

You think that just because you’ve been running a successful customer reference program for years that you’ve got it all down and don’t need to make any changes? Think again. Today in “Telegraph” (Britain’s No.1 quality newspaper website) there was an interesting article called “Social networking websites more popular than porn”.

Here are some key bullets from the report:

– Bill Tancer, a self-confessed ‘data geek’ who analyzed the search habits of more than 10 million web users, said that internet searches provide an up-to-date view of how society is changing.

– “As social networking traffic has increased, visits to porn sites have decreased…My theory is that young users spend so much time on social networks that they don’t have time to look at adult sites,” he said.

– Mr. Tancer also noted that in some instances, the speed of dissemination on the web had led to the spread of disinformation.

Hmmmm…but why do I care you ask? Because if your customers aren’t talking TO you, they’re probably talking ABOUT you.  Don’t fret, you can find out what they’re saying. Start spending more time online reading blogs, getting hooked up on Twitter and checking out the likes of Facebook and see what people are saying.

Not sure where to start? Go to Google and set up an alert here https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount Not only do you get your company’s news, but it’ll also pull in some blogs that mention your company.

It’s too dangerous to ignore the impact that Social Media has. Worse case scenario, you spend a little too much time finding out what your customers are saying. Best case scenario, the customer you were going to hook up with a Fortune 100 prospect blasts your products via their blog and you read the blog before you hook them up. Wouldn’t it feel great to be a hero! So go out there, search and read. Educate yourself!