A futurist speaker at a recent conference where I was also speaking talked about the rapidly growing use of mobile technology. The audience was travel agencies that handle corporate travel. He spoke about the need to have “continuous engagement” with the clients before, during and after the travel experience. An example he gave was if a client had just arrived at the Las Vegas airport and found a two hour wait to get a taxi (not uncommon) how beneficial would it be for them to get a text or email on their smart phone offering to secure a limo or private shuttle to transport him more quickly to their destination. Having been in that situation a couple of times, I thought, “Yes, that would be of value to me.”
The speaker then gave three key elements to being successful with continuous engagement. They are:
- Location-Knowing where they physically are
- Context-What they need at the moment
- Relevance-What is important to them based on their preferences
While his example was geared toward travel agents, I quickly saw the value of these three elements to anyone wanting to grow a stronger relationship with someone… whether that person is a potential client, coworker or even family member. Knowing what they physically have going on right now provides insights into what their needs might be at the moment. The toughest element in the process is the last one… relevance. If I haven’t taken the opportunity to learn what is important to them, I really can’t be of very much help to them.
Today as you seek to better engage with those around you, begin compiling a mental database of what is of importance to them-what do they value? With that information in hand, use their location and context to best determine how you can continue building that “blue ribbon” relationship with them.