‘Do you remember when things used to slow down for Christmas? We’re so busy..’ is all I seem to hear these days. People dropping meetings because they have no time, people not responding for days and then saying they were too snowed under to get back to you. All these things are the way of modern business and frankly, I’m not a fan.
There seems to be a competitive edge to people discussing how busy they are, how late they are working, how early they got in. Surely taking time out the office for a meeting, for a coffee or even, god forbid, a glass of wine isn’t effective use of time?
Or is it? Well, to the surprise of absolutely nobody who knows me, I think being stuck in the office all day is not an effective use of time. My business partner Justin Pearse , the former editor of New Media Age was legendary for chasing his journalists out of the office on a Friday afternoon, telling them that the best stories were to be found in the bars of Soho. He was right.
This is a great time of year to tear up the usual rule book and get out and actually talk to your clients. I mean, really talk, not going down the usual items on the weekly call, not banging out clipped messages on Slack/WhatsApp but really talking. Find out what really makes them tick, what’s really going on with them, their business’s and their families. At Bluestripe ,one of our values is ‘partnership’. How can you truly be a partner if you don’t truly know someone?
Partnerships are very big for us at Bluestripe. We only work with clients who want to us to be partners ,to be a valued extension to their team. That way we can work with you so much better and have a much more effective working relationship. And if that means a client is having a tough day and needs a chat and a coffee for an hour then that’s fine with us.
So this Christmas, I’m going to take the time to sit down and talk with as many of our clients and contacts as possible. Sure, we’ll talk a bit of business ,have a look forward to next year, all that sort of thing. But more importantly as well as talking, I’ll be doing a lot of listening and a lot learning about what really makes our clients tick. Because that’s what real partners do.