I was wrapping up an early morning coaching call with Michele, a client of mine. The discussion was focused around things you can do to attract and retain more clients. We were looking to move beyond the traditional ways to stay in touch with customers (collateral materials and newsletters) and explore what can be done to foster and build stronger relationships with them.
Rather than inviting prospects and customers out for the day for a popular golf outing, Michele opted to do something a bit more unconventional and unique. She took them all fishing instead, hoping this would enable her and her team to connect with their customers and potential customers on a deeper, more personal level.
And boy, was she so right! What I found most interesting was the feedback she heard. You see, she not only invited the business owners, she also invited the plant managers and floor managers of these companies. (Michele sold to industrial manufacturers.)
Sure, I know many top level C players and owners who love any day on the golf course. But for these managers, having a day to go out and fish was what made them incredibly excited. This is what THEY loved to do. They weren’t golfers, they were fishermen. Michele was able to connect with them by engaging in their hobbies and favorite pastimes, rather than what she perceived they would like or what her company would prefer.
Maybe this was the reason why 95% of the people she invited showed up to this event excited about what the day would bring!
How many people show up to your corporate events? How many are actually thrilled and truly excited to be there?
Not only did Michele tap into something that her core audience truly enjoyed but she got two new clients and a huge renewal from an existing client to boot. Michele’s clients felt that she gets them and understands who they are; not just what they do.
Are your corporate events geared around what you and your company like or are they more focused on what your customers and prospects like?
As Michele was concluding her report of her successful outing, she shared with me a story about her four year old grandson. You see, her grandson also loves to fish. And his dad had taken him out to fish one weekend that followed this event. For two days, her grandson would cast his line but never caught a fish. Yet, to a four year old he enjoyed every moment of it, reporting back to Michele that, “I am a very good caster. As a matter of fact, I may be the best caster ever.” He relished not in his achievement, result or lack thereof, but in the process; in the activity of fishing and casting. He enjoyed the process, not just the result. He did not let his happiness be contingent on catching a fish.
Michele, doing only what a grandmother can do, went out the next day and bought one of those fake fish plaques that sing songs when you push the button. On the bottom of the plaque, it read, “World Champion Caster.” As you can imagine, this made her grandson’s day.
Michele’s young grandson has achieved what many adults have yet to understand. It’s the process that’s important and what you need to focus on, not the result. He wasn’t attached or hooked on the result of catching a fish (no pun intended). He knew the result would take care of itself as long as he continued casting his rod. And with each cast, he work on refining and perfecting his process, knowing the byproduct would be attaining the result he was looking for naturally.
An invaluable lesson about enjoying every activity you engage in, rather than making your happiness, self worth, confidence or satisfaction conditional based on the results you produce.
Bottom line, find out what your customers love to do. You may be quite surprised by what you hear. And finally, if you want the right result, then work on developing the right approach. Then, enjoy every second of it.