2015 is the year for deeper connections.
Connections are not followers or number of people retweets or number of people likes. No!
Connections are all about building relationships with people.
Connecting to people:
- Knowing people by name
- Working with people who have skin in the game
- Collaborating with people who want to grow their businesses
- People you can trust
The best part about this is you need to look at these connection attributes and start working with them first and foremost in your company and secondly with the clients you serve.
At the Workplace
How many top leaders really know their people. At a corporation, it is very uncommon for top people to talk to and recognize lower tier, middle management and employees.
In smaller to medium sized companies, (1-200) people top leaders are starting to lose touch of their workers. I know because I am trying to work harder at learning more about all of the employees I see on a regular basis at work.
It is critical for top leaders to take the time and talk/recognize employees now more than ever. Establishing a strong company culture is imperative to the success of the company.
Collaboration can only work if top leaders are willing to engage employees and listen to their ideas and concerns.
Working With Clients
Listen closely to clients’ needs. Stop trying to build major projects around what you think clients want.
This really is the best approach. In order to earn a company’s trust, you must understand that company’s wants and needs. To do that, you really need to make sure you know the names of the appropriate decision maker’s.
You need to understand what their goals are. Sure you can introduce new product/service offerings, but if you want these new introductions to resonate they must relate in some respect to a companys’ overall goals.
What You Need to Work On:
Evaluate the work that everyone does at your company. Review job descriptions and make sure all employees are accountable to someone. Many times employees who are shared across departments often do not have a “true” supervisor.
Have an open door and ask for employee’s ideas. Understand their issues and address them if you can. If you cannot address at a particular issue on the spot, gather more information and see if it is a symptom of a bigger issue.
Manage project work. Make sure tasks are getting completed in a timely manner and that these projects are regularly communicated to top leaders and your middle management team.
Continue to work at learning every person’s name in your organization. If you want great people, then call them by name so they know that you recognize theme as people and have a general understanding of their work tasks.
Identify some of your most valuable clients. These clients are your most loyal and they have a strong relationship history in purchasing your products/services and seeing the value for their own company.
- How can you work even closer together in the future?
- What things would they like to see improved at your company?
- How many people do you know by name at their company?
Start building a client profile and build your own list of items that you need to collect with respect to client information. This is much more than a CRM System. This is about knowing and understanding your clients better.
Make sure you schedule an onsite visit. Don’t take your phone/email connection as having a strong connection. Face-to-face is always where you want to go.
Connecting with people will help insure a strong foundation for the future. It is critical that you understand how to build relationships. More data suggests that strong company relationships will be the way people and their respective companies grow in the future.
Start thinking about yourself as a recruiter of talent. You need those companies and individuals who value your product and want to do business with you.
At the same time, you need to start growing your company with a respective and supporting audience. Today, your company needs to stand out more and the only way you can do that is if you are willing to stick your neck out there and start connecting with other people and businesses outside of your normal clientele. By doing this you will start to see a whole new world of companies that will help you keep your name in the forefront and your information at the front of the pack.
This process has been eye-opening for me and it really does pay off big if you can pull it off.
Picture Source: Flickr