When I was in high school a friend of mine was on the wrestling team. He also happened to be blind. He was very good and won quite a lot. I remember asking him whether he felt disadvantaged without his sight and he said that the only time he was scared was when he lost contact with his opponent. I thought about him as I was writing a presentation on driving business growth because the same is true. The time to be scared is when you lose contact.
Business Growth is a Full Contact Sport
Social media and the abundance of tools and channels now available to us can easily lull us into a false sense of contact. But unless we are truly focused on engagement with our customers and potential customers we are not really in touch with them. Its the difference between running down the street holding someone’s hand, which usually results in pulling someone’s arm out of the socket, and running a three-legged race at a picnic where arms are around shoulders and their is chatter about pace and you both win or fall together.
And the need for contact is not just with customers its exists for your employees and the market as a whole. Your employees need to understand the goals, the ways the business makes money and their role in it all. This level of engagement with staff also has some amazing side effects. Better and more innovation, greater teamwork, lower turnover and easier recruitment, just to name a few. Your competitors, potential alliance partners, and new markets all offer opportunities for driving growth. Lose contact with them and you may miss an opportunity or worse.
When you are in true contact you can feel changes, like wrestlers shifting their weight before a take down, and you don’t have to wait to see the move to react. Without contact your just flying blind.