Last night after Brian Solis spoke before Bryan Elliott’s LinkedOC group, Professor Niklas Myhr, Brian and I all had a chance to sit down, have a couple of cold beverages, and chat about social media and the future of business. We also talked about kids, family and what teenagers are really interested in. But for purposes of this short post, I’ll try and stay focused on social media and the future of business.
For me, Brian’s new book is a game changer. The title is “What’s The Future of Business”. Lisa and I are so moved by Brian’s message that we’re already in the process of implementing several of Brian’s ideas at the law firm to raise the bar relative to client experiences, transparency and relationships. It’s a challenging process that many firms will never take the time to do. But, based upon what we’ve already done and, the favorable client feedback we’re receiving, we know we’re on the right track.
Brian believes that to connect with the customer, you must listen, learn, engage and adapt. We agree.
Clients want information and they want it yesterday. They ask themselves, why should I have to wait? Why can’t I get this website to come up on my smartphone? What’s the problem?
As Brian mentioned from the stage last night, Henry Ford once said (and I’m paraphrasing) that if there is one secret to success, it lies in the ability to get the other persons point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.
When communicating, wouldn’t it be a good idea to think about what message needs to be shared, and then communicate your message in a way that, understanding the other person’s point of view, is favorably received by the other person? Sure, this takes a bit more work but that’s OK. It’s truly worth the effort over the long-term.
Lisa and I have been helping clients for almost 3 decades. When we first started practicing law there was no internet. Fax machines were considered state-of-the-art. Communicating with clients meant picking up the phone or meeting and talking over lunch. During the process, we improved our people skills (no, you’re not born with them) and relationships and friendships were made. Deals got done.
Today, things are a bit different. Things are a bit more hectic and that’s OK.
There are literally thousands of different ways for all of us to communicate with each other. As Brian mentions, now more than ever, it’s important for all of us to get perspective in order to find clarity and meaning in our vision.
Embrace the goal of doing everything you can to make the experience of your customer or client exceptional. Provide value and build relationships. Care. Make it easy for your customer to connect and get their problems solved.
Be transparent in your message. Expect the customer or client to Google everything you say. Welcome this new process. Make it easy for the communication dance to take place. Knock down all the boundaries and hurdles that may have been erected over the years.
One last thought. During our little get together at the end of the evening, Niklas asked me the following question. It’s a question that every business or service provider needs to give thought to and most struggle with. The question was…
“Mitch, what’s your Mission Statement?”
What a great question. I had to think for a second or two. In Brian’s book he talks about how people are now brands and brands are people. He also shared a popular quote by Jeff Bezos of Amazon which is as follows, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
Understanding all of this and also please appreciate the fact that I’m not the brightest bulb in the lamp, my response was as follows…
“Niklas, you’re looking at it. I am my firm’s Mission Statement.”
In today’s fast paced and multitasking world, everything comes down to people and relationships. Focus on these two things using whatever tool, platform or approach that you like, and everything will be just fine. Engage and connect with your customers and make their experience unforgettable. Do this and the future of your business will be exciting and bright.