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.

It’s the thought that counts right?

About a month ago I had one of my Sales guys forward me an email from one of his customers. The customer had previously requested for an article he was highlighted in, to be framed and sent to him. The Sales guy had either forgotten about the request or meant to do it but hadn’t gotten around to it. Either way, the request was sent to me.

I was able to track down the copy of the article (after the magazine sent me a copy of the right month but wrong year) and brought it in to be framed for the customer. Because of the size of the article – 9 pages – it was a huge job that had to be custom made. After about a week and a half and a few hundred dollars, the article was ready to be picked up.

It then sat inconspicuously in the cube next to mine for about two weeks. Ughing over the fact that I had to find a way to ship this monstrosity (3 feet by 4 feet and 24lbs), I put it on the back burner secretly hoping that it would find a way to pack and ship itself.

Finally realizing that it was collecting cob webs, I brought it to a local shipping store, spent another hundred dollars to get it packed up and a few hundred more to get it shipped to the customer by end of the week. I was finally happy that it was in the mail and was even getting congratulations from co-workers.

Anxious to see what the customer thought of it, I went online and saw that it was delivered and signed for on Friday. I sent the customer an email this morning to make sure that he had received it. He did – and the glass was shattered. My customer was checking to see if the actual article had been torn too.

After spending close to $1,000 and having the customer wait about a year (from the initial request) the beautiful, gigantic article was ruined. Was it worth it? At this point it’s anyone’s guess.