Let’s admit it. Those of us in IT tend to be reclusive. It’s in our nature to “avoid” seeing the customer and instead do our work at our desks - after all, it’s where are able to accomplish the most. However, let’s consider stepping away from our desks and seeing what we can accomplish when we choose to be present with our customers.
The power of physical presence is severely underestimated in the world of IT. You’re still able to get just as much work done whether you’re present with your customers or if you’re at your desk in your office - the key is to change the perspective of your to-do list.
When you’re present with your customers, you may not be closing out tasks or getting things done that are technical in nature, but you are working on one of the most vital aspects of any successful business: relationships. Speaking face-to-face with your customers allows you to establish a connection and develop your relationship, which is just as important as the technical tasks on your to-do list.
Physical presence allows for engagement. Sometimes, engaging with your clients is as easy as popping your head into their office to say “hello.” When both you and your client are able to match a face to the voice you and they have become familiar with, the relationship becomes even stronger. Your client is able to humanize you, and you become much more to them than their vendor.
When you feel like more than just a vendor to your client, their trust in you grows significantly. Trust will increase your client’s tolerance, specifically for those inevitable mistakes that will happen. No matter how much you avoid it, mistakes will occur, and when they do, you’re going to want to have a strong relationship there to catch you when you fall.
The power of physical presence is also applied to colleagues that you may only know virtually. When you are present with your colleagues, you get to know their mannerisms and learn about what makes them happy, what makes them upset, etc. There may be times when they’re having a bad day and struggling to adequately complete their tasks. When you have a connection established with your colleague, you’ll recognize that they’re not an incompetent employee, but rather trying to get back into their working element. The takeaway here? When you’re present with your colleagues or clients, it offers the opportunity for empathy to exist in your relationship.
Don’t stress yourself out trying to physically be everywhere that your clients and colleagues are at all times; they don’t expect these physical engagements to occur often, and you shouldn’t, either. However, make sure that you are setting aside time once in a while to be present with the people you work with so that your relationship with them is based on something stronger than the occasional email.
Speaking of physical presence, we would love to have yours at IT Nation Connect 2022 on Wednesday, November 9, when Humanize IT competes in the PitchIT competition for a grand prize of $70,000. I have been communicating with so many of you for years, and look forward to the opportunity to finally shake your hands!
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