The Connection Economy

Written by Adam Clinckett

 

I was reading some of Seth Godin's material today about how when someone takes an idea from someone else, it's not stolen but it grows. We all benefit from ideas that grow. An example he used was nobody knows how to make a computer mouse. You at least need a metallurgist, a plastics expert, a technical engineer and a software developer to make all the individual pieces before it's even assembled. It's the connection of all of those people that bring value to the customer.

Our businesses are based on the same principles. We have suppliers, accountants, book keepers, tax agents, couriers, landlords etc. We coordinate all of these all working parts before we can even open our doors.

But we then stumble on building customer connection.

I admit, I go to the same hairdresser - even though I don't get the greatest hair cut in the world. I could go somewhere cheaper and get a haircut of the same quality. I go to her because she remembers my name and the name of my kids.

My favourite shop in the world is a florist at Daisy Hill...and I'm a guy who used to buy flowers from the supermarket!! But I love going to this one specific florist not simply because she has good flowers, but she tells me about looking after her parent's gigantic dog and what's going on in her life. I always leave her shop feeling good - and I don't even like flowers!

I think that says a lot about how you build your small business. Yes, your service needs to be of good quality, but more importantly, you need to build connection to your customers. The service you provide may help them feel better and more normal, but the way you spend time building your connection with them is what makes them feel good. They will walk out remembering how you made them feel. If they felt uncomfortable, rushed or disconnected, those feelings will override the quality service that you provided them.

Keep working on building those connections. You'll fail sometimes and other times you'll kick massive goals. There's no book to teach you how to do this. You need to learn what works for you - give it your own flavour. You'll be kicking goals in no time.