Yesterday, I did something I haven’t done in a long time.
I went to a commercial chain restaurant!
Ok, maybe it doesn’t sound dramatic to you, but for me, “Mr. Health Nut,” it was quite the change. It’s rare for me to go to any restaurants these days, much less a commercial / corporate one.
Walking in the front door was a smooth and standard “meet and greet from the host.” Our original plan was to have a drink in the bar, and maybe take our meal there. The host said we could sit anywhere we wanted (it was between lunch and dinner rushes.)
So far, so good.
So we grabbed a table in the bar area, and perused the drink and appetizer menu. Found drink and salad options which looked promising.
Then we sat.
And we sat.
And we sat.
Not ones to hang out aimlessly, we moved to the regular restaurant space, after a few minutes (Besides, the bar had a TV sporting event blaring at 3000 decibels in the background…)
Found a good booth and just sat down. In less than 2 minutes, a skilled waiter approached and got the ball rolling.
Suddenly, all was well!
Context shift. We were still in the same place, run by the same company, with the same menu. BUT, the context had shifted——by moving just a few short feet across the restaurant partition.
Amazing! One tiny little shift completely transformed the whole experience. The experience shifted from less-than-optimal to fun!
…A much younger and slightly more hot-headed version of me might have walked out and missed this whole lesson! But I don’t do that anymore. It’s an ineffective use of time and resources. Instead, I shift context, and see what can be learned.
And in life, as in business, big results can take surprisingly little effort. Just make a small focused shift.
What does this all have to do with business, you ask?
Plenty. The thought for today is to review your current business and client contexts. Here are a few examples:
Client not paying? Shift context.
Go to another manager or try a different approach. Remember the ‘old days’ where grocery stores took lots of paper checks? And there was always some self-important “manager pants” who had to come and approve it? Or unlock the till?
Well each and every client has their own “manager pants.” In fact, it’s often several people——even in small firms. Need a payment approved? Change context and find a different “manager pants.”
Business deal not closing? Check your premise, or rewrite it altogether. Or find a better deal.
Potential client won’t see you? Find someone else at the firm.
Or, maybe go one level under the client’s rank to get an introduction. Or, take the opposite approach and go 1—2 levels higher in the chain of command.
…Or find a different department with a more pressing need. If there’s anything I’ve learned in almost 3 decades of consultative selling, there are always one or two departments with different pains. Chances are, neither is the department you first targeted.
Consulting, coding, or services project not going well? Re-shuffle tasks between different players.
Having a hard time writing sales copy, or articulating a value proposition? Think about it differently. Get an outside opinion (change of context.)
Your key project team member is unavailable? Walk to the next one.
Can’t find parking close to the building? Shift context and make it an exercise adventure instead of a “circle and yell” exercise.
The possibilities are endless.
Have a bangin’ Monday!
Host of the “Bangin’ Your Business Show”
“Bangin’ Your Mondays” is copyright 2015 by Links Business Group LLC. All rights reserved.