Meet Them on Their Turf

Meet Them on Their Turf

“At Netflix, we think you have to build a sense of responsibility where people care about the enterprise. Hard work, like long hours at the office, doesn’t matter as much to us. We care about great work.” ~ Reed Hastings

Meet Them on Their Turf

Civil servants are some of the most underappreciated members of our society. John, a decorated Vietnam veteran who had been a rural county’s Veterans Affairs Officer for the past twenty-five years, was widely considered one of the most impactful officers in his state. He was asked what the secret was to his success.

He grinned and said, “It’s no secret. I don’t keep office hours.”

When pressed on this confounding statement, John nodded, saying, “Oh, I do the paperwork. I work the phones. In fact, for the first two years on this job, I barely left the office. And you know what? Very few veterans came to see me for help. I could not understand why they wouldn’t. They knew where I was. Many of them knew me personally. But they didn’t come.

“After I had realized that they weren’t coming to me, I had to find them,” he explained. “They have gone to the ends of the earth for our country. The least I could do was show them enough respect to go the short distance to where they are.”

John got out of the office and went to where the veterans were. He went to VFW halls. He met veterans in their workplaces. He went to their functions, meetings, churches, and homes. Recently returned from duty, veterans had lives they had put on hold and were anxious to pick up where they had left of. They didn’t have extra time to spend driving to the Veterans Affairs office to wait for their number to be called.

There’s more to a business than simply opening your doors and hanging up a sign; sometimes you need to meet your clients where they are. If you’re an entrepreneur or salesperson and you want to double your sales, try doubling the amount of time you spend face to face with qualified prospects and customers. Now that’s a thought …

Consider this …

1. How many hours a week (on average) do you spend actually interacting with qualified prospects, customers, or key stakeholders?

2. What are the things that distract or prevent you from spending more time with your customers or stakeholders?

3. Put a plan in place to address these distractions and make a commitment to double the amount of time you are engaged with customers or stakeholders.

For more, check out The Top Performer’s Field Guide, The Innovator’s Field Guide, or visit www.JeffStandridge.com.

(Originally published in The Innovator’s Field Guide.)

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