As a business owner and salesperson I require time to myself to think, rest and connect with people, however their are always others that want my attention. I have had to resort to locking myself in my office and forcing myself to focus at the expense of the world around me. However this alienates people and can be very lonely. The following is a list of my ideas about how to scale 1 to 1. I decided to put my ideas into a blog post because I want to share my ideas about how to scale 1 to 1.
A Chauffeur to the Virtual World: It is important that you and your employees are always carrying business cards because they are the easiest way to chauffeur realtime face to face interactions to non-time sensitive virtual interactions. This allows you to spread out interactions so that you eliminate bottlenecks. It is important to ask for the other person's business card to make sure they know that you actually want to connect. Explain that as much as you want to jump into the relationship right now, you want to reconnect at a later time so that you can give your full attention.
Transition Meetings: In order to scale 1 to 1 it is essential to move interactions from the physical to virtual. I resisted moving my meetings from physical to virtual. However, over the last year I have moved almost all of my meeting to the virtual world. I was sick of spending hours driving back and forth, and showing up late to meetings because of traffic, exhaustion and bad planning. The key to moving meeting to the virtual world is to properly set up your virtual meeting room. At first my virtual meetings felt awkward and where full of technical difficulties, and thus it was difficult to establish rapport with the people I was meeting. After investing in a camera, professional grade studio microphone, a professional physical space, and a wired internet connection, I was able to establish the same rapport with my clients as my physical meetings. I think the key was that I was comfortable, especially since I didn't have to hold a microphone. On the software side of virtual meetings I highly recommend using Skype and Glance.net. They are very simple systems that load very quickly.
A Lobby Full of Ideas: Developing a lobby allows you to add value to people that you have just met and also your current clients when you are not around. CAN's lobby is composed of a set of standard emails that are well thought out with content specific to different types of people we meet in different circumstances. For example we have a list of our favorite things that we send to people we have just met introduce them to a few of our favorite things, our products and our company. The goal of our lobby is to enhance the CAN customer experience by introducing potential customer to CAN and our products so that we can spend our face-to-face time engaged in learning about our customers and not telling them about CAN. CAN is currently working on a series of emails specifically for people we have just met, people interested in our 5 products, and clients of our 5 products.
Scale Conversations: You can use your blog to scale 1 to 1 by writing about frequent conversations that you have, and then inviting people you engage with to add their thoughts. This moves your realtime face-to-face interactions to a non-time sensitive virtual interaction, and you can network your new connections with other people that are having a similar conversation.