Use the tools available to get to know your prospective partners, colleagues, and customers.
Let me tell you a story. I’m an older guy… 59 years old (turning 60 this month… OMG). I graduated college in 1980, and I was taught by my parents to look people in the eye when speaking to them.
When I graduated college, I got my first sales job. I got a call from my dad after my first week of work and he says, “So when’s your first meeting?”
I said, “It’s Friday.”
He said, “Well, what time is the meeting?”
I said, “10:00.”
He said, “When are you gonna go there?”
I said, “I’ll probably get there about five to 10.”
He says, “No. Get there at 9:00. Walk around the neighborhood. Get to know what other businesses and restaurants are there. Get into the office. Find out what other companies are in the building. Try to get into the office of the person you’re meeting with and see what diplomas are on the wall, what photos are on the desk. Is he a father, a grandfather? Does she golf, does she fish? Does she ski? Where did she go to school? Find points of emotional connection where you can have a conversation with him other than business that’s important to him.”
Now, today you don’t have to get there an hour early. All this information’s available digitally, but most of us aren’t bothering to use it.
We’re worried about bringing people to our pages, instead of going and seeing all the information they’re offering us on theirs.
My advice to you is to make sure to do your research before you go in, after you meet, and regularly along the way. It’s a simple as a click of a button—and then bothering to read something and seeing how it relates to you. And don’t forget if you engage… the potential value can be unlimited.
But really my point is that all these tools are tremendous, but if you forget the people, you’re overlooking the most important part.
Tools help you be more productive. They help you find out things about the people you’re working with. They’re helping you stay on top of your business. But in the end, you’ve got to always keep the people at the forefront of your thinking. Because if you overlook them, if you only look at the money, then you’re missing the most important part.