Get your head out of the Cloud! Yeah, I’m talking to you (and me) and everyone else out there. Whether your business is online, offline or both, we all need time away from the keyboard and out in the ‘real world’ in order to effectively grow our businesses.
Although it has been said many times over that advancements in technology have brought us closer together, I contend that it has done just the opposite. While technology has made it easier for us to engage machine-to-machine and automate various aspects of our daily work lives, it has also diminished the “human touch” in the process.
At the end of the day, however, building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business still comes down to people and the human interaction that happens in the marketplace between consumers and suppliers. That personal connection is still a key differentiator.
The “cloud” is not a physical thing. The cloud is a network of servers that run applications and deliver services. All business, whether online or offline, is human-to-human (H2H). Customers don’t want to interact with an avatar, a voice prompter or a perceived virtual company doing nothing more than pushing products at them via a steady stream of SPAM. The more human your business is, the greater your chances of long-term success.
“How can you make your business more human?”
This is an easy one … get out of the office bunker and more actively involved in the market. Today’s entrepreneurial business model is vastly different. At the center is you, your brands, products/services, and the relationships you cultivate with prospects, customers, suppliers, partners and so forth. People need to see the “real you” in order to establish the trust-based relationships required to do business with them.
My friend, Lin O’Neill, President & CEO of Futures Consulting, has built a successful consulting practice by staying actively engaged in her market space at all levels since moving back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area several years ago. She is a great example of how staying engaged and making the business more human can increase your chances of long-term success. When I first met Lin over six years ago, she told me how her practice got off-the-ground after a move back to Texas from the West Coast.
Lin set a goal of ‘6 touches’ per day to launch her business, attending morning, midday and after-hours events, five days a week. In just 10 months, she developed a successful consulting practice, joined nine organizations, was elected to the board of directors for three companies, and built a database of over 3,500 contacts. Lin’s aggressive business development activities were not about collecting business cards. Rather, they were all about people and establishing great relationships to facilitate the future growth of her business.
“2/3 of customers leave because they feel neglected.”
While you may not be able to follow Lin’s example, there are some things we should all do to make our collective businesses more human. It starts with pushing away from the computer and remaining active in the market on many levels. To that point, I would encourage you to establish specific “high touch” goals for yourself and your team that involve greater human interaction for the new calendar year ahead.
The more people get to know the real you and learn about your business through a personal connection, the more likely they will be to do business with you today, tomorrow and in the future. Keep this in mind the next time you want to “spend a day in the office to catch up” or get lost in the cloud.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2015 John Carroll