[Ignite] Taking it offline

Welcome to the latest edition of Ignite. How have your last two weeks been?

It has certainly been a busy and varied two weeks here, lots of activity, lots of progress and plenty of lessons along the way; some of which I’ll share with you shortly.

When I last wrote it was Good Friday here in the UK, the lead into an extended 4 day weekend for many. A time to relax, rest and recuperate. In my view and from my experience downtime is invaluable, when my mind and body are relaxed I often have some of my most imaginative ideas and possibilities open up for me.

When do you get your best ideas?

Taking it offline

Over the past few weeks I have noticed and have been reflecting on a trend that I am seeing in my business. I have been offered some great speaking engagements and opportunities to work collaboratively with other business owners. A good proportion of these opportunities have developed from building relationships with people that I have met or been introduced to on social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

There is generally a lot of emphasis on such platforms to build your number of followers/friends or connections. For me, particularly in my vocation, the number is less important; it is the quality and strength of the relationship the matters.

Getting back to the trend, those opportunities that I have spoken about have come as a result of building and online relationship and then moving it offline; meeting up with people in ‘real-life’, getting to know them, building rapport, building liking and trust.

Particularly in service industries, where the product or service is intangible, it is imperative to build knowing, liking and trusting.

If you are not already doing it, I invite you to perhaps invite contacts to meet up with you over a coffee or for lunch and develop those connections and relationships beyond the online.

Meeting your commitments

This week I was gifted another piece of content for this edition of Ignite, perhaps it was just my Reticular Activating System kicking in or serendipity.

I had a blocked drain at the rear of the house and did the ‘usual’ Google search and found a suitable and professional looking firm to carry out the task of clearing the blockage. A quick call and a time was agreed, seamless and easily sorted.

Unfortunately, the rest of the experience was not so easy or seamless. Having made arrangements to be available during the agreed visit time, the clock ticked on and the time passed; no visit.

I picked up the phone to enquire what had happened; I received a number of platitudes and excuses including “I rang you several times and got no answer”, well my phone has voicemail so why not leave a message so I can ring back?

A second visit time was arranged. I rang on the day to confirm it and also request that the contractor ring me in advance to ensure I could be at the property… no call arrived.

Fortunately, I happened to arrive at the house just after the contractor; had I not the job would not have been done again and I would have certainly not have arranged a third visit.

What a different experience this might have been if a couple of simple things were done differently and the contractor had been more proactive.

What might you take from this experience? How can you meet or exceed your clients’ expectations?

Tools you can use

On Saturday last week, I ran a couple of coaching sessions. Nothing unusual there you might think, after all I am a coach. It was as I travelled from home to the second session nearby that I reflected on the first; a session I had run over Skype with a client in Spain and how technology enables very different opportunities and ways of working for us.

I may be preaching to the converted, however, I will be including an overview of some of these technologies and tools in future editions; tools for collaboration, communication and personal effectiveness.

Thanks for your time and attention today.

Until next time, to your success