This is a guest post by Karen Castillon, the VP of IP Management at Three Pillar Global. She submitted the following as a follow up to my recent post – “The Lost Art of Follow Up“.
I’ve been with Three Pillar Global for almost two years, serving in a variety of ever-changing roles. The one constant has been my opportunity to work with a large number of Three Pillar Global clients. And I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret: whether or not anyone is willing to admit it, we in the IT consulting industry do have “favorite” clients. Without exception, my favorite clients are people with whom I have a great deal of personal interaction. To put it simply, we actually talk to each other. And, more importantly, we listen to each other. In this world of hyper-connectivity, it’s refreshing to find other people who place a high value on relationships built through time and understanding. Now, do you think it’s a coincidence that these clients are also pleased with our service? I do not. By spending time with other people, we’re demonstrating to them we value their time and believe the payoff of a mutually beneficial relationship is worth the significant investment required.
I’m a big proponent of social networking and media. I’m not great at executing in this area, but I’m learning more every day. Blogging is fun, informational, and both challenging and rewarding – as long as you have something compelling to say. There are several blogs I read every day, and others I read as I receive new tweets about them. There are a lot of good reasons to utilize social media sites. For example, they’re a GREAT place to find information about companies and individuals, look for new employees or jobs, and make new connections through your existing ones. You can even use these sites to increase the buzz about your company or your personal brand. What you cannot do with these social media sites is build trust with your clients. To do that, you have stop, listen, and in some cases, ease a pain to develop trust.
Now here’s my advice: Show your clients you value their time and opinions by spending time with them, listening to their day-to-day challenges, and helping them to solve problems—even when there’s nothing in it for you. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.
So, by all means, keep on blogging, tweeting, and digging—just don’t give up one-on-one personal communication.