hiding-from-customersI recall one evening, when I was a teenager (a very long time ago) my Mum coming into my room as I was on my bed listening to music. “You not going out tonight with the lads?” she asked. “No” I replied, “they are out with their girlfriends”. Mum then left my room to get on with the sorts of things that Mums did but returned a little later and put her head around the door. “If you want to get a girlfriend too, chances are you need to get out there, I doubt if she’s going to be knocking on your door saying ‘There you are, I found you’ any point soon”.

The wonder of Mum’s is that they are invariably right. The problem teenagers have with Mums is that this is the case. But after a while, I did manage to “get out there” and did find a girlfriend. So this little story has a happy ending.

Wind forward 10-15 years or so. I am in my first sales job (having moved across from a technical support position) and my Boss comes into the office. He gives me a little smile as I am reading through my letters of the day (that’s what we did before email) and shuffling some papers. My boss walks over to me and looks under my desk. He says nothing and then wanders over to the cupboard, opens it and peers inside. He then goes to the other desk in the office and looks under that. Turning to me he asks “I can’t see them Trevor, where are you hiding them?” with a confused expression I ask  “Hiding what?” He gives me a very serious look “The customer’s Trevor, I can’t see them anywhere…”  I start to formulate a response when it dawns on me the point he is making. I’d become a little too ‘office friendly’ in much the same way I was ‘bedroom friendly’ during my teenage years. By boss was making exactly the same point as my Mum had been. You have to be ‘out there’ in order to find, make and build new relationships.

So if you are reading this in your office on a Monday morning and your “to-do” list is keeping you there for most of the day (or week) ask yourself “Where are those new customers?”

One Response to “Where are those new customers?”

  • Hi,

    Thanks Trevor; another useful reminder of what we should all be doing in a difficult market.

    The notion of getting out there appears in other areas of business practice.

    1. In lean manufacturing they talk about ‘genchi gembutsu’, literally translated as’ go and see for yourself’. It’s usually used in relation to fixing problems in the production line, but it also refers to looking for opportunities for improvement.

    2. Speaking of opportunities for improvement, the first principle of how to be more lucky in Richard Wiseman’s book The Luck Factor is ‘Maximise your Chance Opportunities'; in other words get out there so that things can happen to you. Psychologists often use the phrase ‘opportunity scanning’ to describe this behaviour.

    What a great excuse to make the most of this wonderful sunny weather!

Leave a Reply