Not long now till the fat man in the red suit makes an appearance and…
Tis the Season To Be Jolly
“Tis the season to be jolly”, someone said.
Jolly? I feel I’ve had more of a dose of the Grinch. Why? Because I’m bone tired, because I feel like the world around me is speeding up when it should be slowing down and because people just won’t stop asking me for things.
Think I’m the only one? I doubt it. If you do a little digging, you’ll find clients, partners, people in your network and perhaps even you are feeling like this too. This got me thinking.
Should we be more thoughtful about the various seasons in our business?
And if we were, how would that impact the way we approach our clients, staff, network, suppliers?
It boils down to this simple fact.
If you want to be in business over a long term, it’s about relationships.
If you want to build relationships, you need to consider the humans you are working with. And human needs are so much more difficult to satisfy than a standard issue Christmas card.
But do we do this? No! We scream demands, invitations, sales, last minute meetings and urgent requests all year round (and especially leading into the silly season).
I started to think through the general themes of the holiday season and how I like to be treated as a customer during this season to be jolly.
Let’s take a look:
This month is about getting ready for Christmas parties, it’s getting hot and in many parts of Australia humid. We are being asked to wind down, but for some reason, we seem to be ramping up. For working parents the added pressure of the end of year parties, school concerts, presentation days and formals just get piled up on our never-ending list.
November is a great time for networking, being pleasant, asking people how they are travelling, asking what big plans they have for 2019 (call that market research if you like) and aspiring to slow down (or really doing it).
As a customer, unless someone is selling me home improvement, wine discounts or staying sane over Christmas tips, it’s not going to be likely that I’ll even notice their message.
Well you know, it has the day we all work towards as if the world will cease. Unless you are in retail or hospitality, don’t even bother about doing business.
Use this time to schmooze, invite clients to drinks or host a Christmas party. Or (as many people will already have over full diaries) just attend the events you’ve been invited to and make yourself known. As a customer, I have retailers practically screaming at me from the moment my eyes open.
Don’t be that person, just don’t. December is about gratitude and relationships.
Holiday time, feet up, frizzy hair, sun. If you want to make sure you earn an enemy for the year make demands on me this month. January is a cruisy (and for some boozy) time to rest, recuperate and slowly but surely kick back into gear.
Send your clients a happy new year card, ramp up your social media with meaningful, funny and informative posts, ask about your client’s 2019 goals (yep, more market research).
Game on. But remember, it’s not just you that wants to get back to business, it’s everyone else as well. Use this time to reconnect, set the agenda for the year ahead and be generally likeable. If business can wait, schedule a catch-up appointment for March.
I’m sure I’m not the only person thinking I can cram everything into February only to realise that I didn’t actually have that many days at hand.
Back to life as normal, except school holidays are just around the corner again. Phwah! You’d wonder how anyone ever gets work done.
The bottom line.
People need to know they matter, they count and that you took some time to think through ways to make their lives better.
Love to hear your approach to this.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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