They are one of our biggest clients, yet we have only sat in the same room as them three times – in three years.
You see, they are a 10-hour-round-trip away from Exeter and very busy people.
When we first agreed to work together we were apprehensive about how this long-term relationship would work out.
But thanks to technology and some serious commitment on both sides they might as well be a 10-minute walk away.
And here’s why the arrangement has been such a success:
•We schedule conference calls at the same time, on the same day, once a week… religiously
•If we feel the need to see each other’s faces, we use https://www.zoom.us or https://www.skype.com/en/, or https://hangouts.google.com
•We are open and honest with each other. If there is a problem, we raise it and deal with it immediately to avoid unsatisfactory situations escalating.
•We meet in person once a year, without fail
•We trust and respect each other and our mutual ability to communicate via telephone and technology.
•The distance has forced us to be creative and learn new skills. Skills which we used elsewhere in our businesses.
Now, I am not advocating that we all sit in our offices and communicate only via our keyboards.
But what I do believe is that, especially in an area as geographically remote as ours, there are so many opportunities that are being missed because business fail to embrace, or are ambivalent to technology.
Just think, your next client could be in a county, or even a country, you’ve never stepped foot in.