It’s always good to spend the day with your clients. When you work virtually, you build a rapport with some people that you will absolutely never meet, you have such a huge impact on their work life, but would you know them if you walked past them in the street?
On Thursday I did just that. I went to London for the day to assist my biggest client with an event they were involved with hosting at the Google HQ. All very exciting, I was meeting a group of people I’ve been talking to for months, almost a year in some cases but never set eyes on. It’s funny, you develop these amazing relationships to the point of “ask Amy, she’ll know not me” because you have that level of ‘control’ but you tend not to ever truly know them, which feels very strange to a social person like me. However, I was lucky enough to have one of the team members decide that actually, having me there would be incredibly useful, not only for the admin side and all the work I had done helping him to organise the day, but for the experience and to gain an insight to how their business really works.
Anyway, so back to the walking past each other and never realising. There I was walking through Pancras Square, looking at the Google building, totally in awe of the size and what I could see, so impressive, if you’ve not been you should do it. I walked past a lovely looking cafe called Notes and sat on a bench outside the offices, taking it all in. I received a text saying they were sat outside Notes… the “lovely looking cafe” I had just walked past. Low and behold, five of them were sat outside and I had walked straight past them all, even though I am connected with them all on LinkedIn and vaguely know what they look like, there is still a huge difference between a person and a photo. In April I actually happened to be skiing at the same resort as one of them and didn’t realise until we’d returned to the UK (the world is a very small place).
We also live in an age where you look at people’s details before meeting them, we “Google” everyone and everything. Listening to the talks Thursday afternoon, and watching the audience participate, you realise how many people do it, but don’t think they are being ‘Googled’ too, because, you don’t think to look for yourself on Google, do it now and see what happens, it can be funny what shows up. I’m an American actress that stared in ‘8 Simple Rules’ you won’t find the actual me until you get to the 4th page in Google, even then that could be dubious, and who even goes that far?
I learnt on Thursday that, it is good to get out there, to meet your clients, there is nothing like having a face to face meeting and developing that relationship further. It’s not always viable to get out of the office to see them, but it’s completely worth it. There also is the option of coming to Peterborough and meeting in our offices, we can facilitate a meeting that way too.
I for one am going to try and become an advocate for meeting the people I work for. I know that’s not really the idea of a “virtual pa” but I have found it beneficial and I think others will too.