Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Make time for connecting in person

Posted in Personal Development by elephanthunters on April 23, 2010

Invitation

Yesterday Jack Groot and his wife came by the office for an impromptu visit. Jack owns JP’s Coffee & Espresso Bar in Holland, MI, and he’s a huge Dave Ramsey fan.  I visited with Jack a few months back about our EntreLeadership Master Series event, and I mentioned to him that if he’s ever in the Nashville area, I’d love to show him around the place.

Well, Jack decided to take me up on the offer.  He sent me an email yesterday morning saying he’s in town and he asked if they could swing by for a tour.

Hesitation

I’d like to say that I replied immediately saying “Sure! Stop by whenever it’s convenient for you today…I’ll make the time.”

I didn’t do this.  I waited.  I stalled, semi-unconsciously hoping that I could divert the inconvenience, and still somehow save face with Jack.

I accidentally listened to the resistance. My lizard brain (selfish & scared) told me that I was too busy:

Daniel, you don’t have time.  They’ll understand. They probably knew it was a long shot anyway being so last minute and all.  You have obligations.  This is one of the busiest weeks of your whole year right before your really big, important, complicated event.  You have plenty of legitimate excuses, so just tell them that you hope to catch them next time.

See, that’s the only thing the lizard brain offers:

  • Excuses
  • Reasons to not
  • Places to hide

I decided to punch the lizard brain in the face:

“I’m making this way to complicated”, I thought. “These guys are here all the way from Michigan!  Who am I to tell them I don’t have time for a short tour?” I adjusted my schedule, and arranged to host Jack and his wife.

I used to give tours more often, but now our company is big enough that we have official ‘tour people’ so I haven’t given one in a while.

But, at one o’clock I met Jack and his wife in the lobby, and what started out as another task on my list for the day, quickly became an energizing experience for me.  As I told the stories about everything we’re doing around here, my emotions caught up with my brain, and I felt a new sense of pride in my work.  This is my team.  These are the guys I fight with.  Here is what we do, and here is why it matters.  For a solid 45 minutes I found myself selling 2 strangers on why our company is awesome.

Connection happens in person

I sit at a desk with a keyboard and a phone most of the time.  So there’s something magical about face to face connection with your customers.  I’m really glad I decided to make time for my new friends.  Are they going to buy my product now?  I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that I got to spend quality time engaging two other fabulous human beings who have their own story to tell.  I can’t put a price on the time spent with them, and I wouldn’t sell it if I could.

Can I suggest something? Give tours!

Make your people give tours.  Tell the story.  Whatever this means in your company, find out a way to show people what you’re doing.  It doesn’t’ matter if you have 2 people or 200, if you work in an office building or on a construction site, if you work in accounting or in sales:

Just tell the story, and don’t ever assume they know what you’re doing.

Doing this will keep you connected to the mission like nothing else can.

My new goal:

Give a tour at least once a month.  I’m going to make time to show people around the office whether it ties in with a deal I’m working or not.  It does something for me that is too valuable to miss out on.

How do tours work at your place?  What do they look like?  What do people tend to comment on when you give them?  I’d love to hear about it!