Yes readers, I am on the cusp of another decade. I’m now in my 30th year and much as I’d love to say this blog is about candles on a birthday cake, it is actually about me being in my 30th year in the communications business.
Quite a scary thought, I must admit.
My starting point in communications was different to say the least.
On Her Majesty’s Service
Aged 17 I joined the Women’s Royal Army Corp (later merging with the men to become the Royal Corp of Signals). My ambition back then was to be in the Military Police, but my aptitude test had me enlisted as a Data Telegraphist.
My job was to transmit confidential data. And that’s all I can say about that 😊
I worked with some of the very latest communications technology in the army, including the Merlin DX system and wired plug switchboard. (If you are of a certain vintage, you will remember this kit) Remember, this was prior to the “Internet of Things”.
4 wonderful years later, I returned to “Civvy Street” and started working in the world of communications technology.
Over the next 20 years it has been a joy to work for a range of highly successful organisations, leading me to today and my role at SVL.
Thanks for letting me indulge in my 30 year journey, but rather than just being an autobiography, it has made me think a lot about what I have learned and taken with me.
I have 3 main conclusions:
1. You need to trust your partners.
In the army you learn not only to trust your team, but the other allies you share a common goal with. This is just as true in civilian life and I am passionate about organisations networking, sharing opportunities and channels for mutual benefit. It’s too easy to get stuck in a silo, but when groups of businesses help each other, the synergy is truly beneficial. There is enough work out there for us all.
2. Sell, sell, sell? Absolutely NOT.
Any time I have been asked to sell a product, I ask myself what problem does this product solve? How does it benefit the potential customer? If I cannot answer those questions myself, then I would not be comfortable taking this to my clients.
I prefer to meet people, listen and get to know them and their business. What challenges are they facing? How is their business moving forward and can I/we help? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, but you form a better relationship with a customer where you genuinely want to support their immediate needs and help them plan ahead. If I can’t help them, then I point them in the direction of someone who can.
3 Help others, even if you don’t see a potential instant return.
I do believe in good karma and if you can give someone your support, advice, or point them in the right direction, then do it. I’ve joined a networking group who genuinely have an ethos of helping each other as much as possible. (Revitalise – Lee Foster) The rewards do come from this, relationships grow and we meet regularly to support each other on our business journeys but you also get that brilliant feeling when you’ve helped someone to meet the ideal customer and when people get to know and trust you and refer you on, that’s when you know your business integrity has never let you down.
Over the years technology has changed so much. When I first started in a business, we had no mobiles, internet or email. We have come a very long way since then, but one thing has never changed, it’s all about good relationships.