I was on the phone with a client and she said, “I have a really stupid question to ask you.”
By far the best and fastest way to get to know someone is to talk with them, ideally face to face, so it makes sense that you need to get out from behind your desk, meet people and get to know them.
Yet, it’s easy to justify that you need to be at your desk. You need to clean up your inbox, work on your website, work on the new program you’re developing or even work with current clients.
Some of this time is absolutely necessary, but when is doing work at your desk hiding or playing small? When does “working at your desk” limit your business’ growth?
My client went on to ask, “I know the best way for me to grow my business is to get out from behind my desk, but the reality is that sometimes I am at my desk. What am I supposed to do when I’m here?”
It was a great question.
The answer is, when you are at your desk, spend the time finding ways to get away from your desk and engaging directly with people.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, the only way your business can grow is if you ask people to buy your product or service. That means you have to get to know each other and doing that in person is a lot faster than trying to get to know someone online.
I recommend that at least some portion of your day be focused on “away from your desk activities”. That means you are actually away from your desk, meeting new people and networking, following up with people you’ve already met and getting to know them better. It might mean getting up on stages and doing a presentation (by the way, a stage can be as small as a small table at a coffee shop with you and two other people). When you are away from your desk the goal is either to meet new people or to get to know the people you know better.
But what about those days when you don’t have any appointments? Those days when there aren’t any networking events?
The “away from your desk activities” that you do at your desk all need to have the same goal in mind, to deepen the relationships you have.
Here are my favorite three “away from your desk activities” you can do from your desk.
- Call people you’ve met that you haven’t spoken with in a while. Let them know that you’ve been thinking of them and were wondering what they’ve been up to since you met or last spoke.
- Follow up on that stack of business cards you have on your desk from people you met at networking events. I recommend calling them up and being honest. Let them know that you have had their card on your desk and it was time call.
- Reach out to local networks or organizations. Ask them about upcoming meetings and even about possible speaking opportunities. And here’s a trick, let them know that if they ever have a speaker cancel that you would be happy to be a last minute substitute.
How much time do you spend away from your desk? What could change in your business if you increased the amount of time you spend away from your desk by just 10 percent?
Carrie Greene is a speaker, author & business coach. She is a business strategist & who helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and creating simple plans to get there. She is the author of “Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm & Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!” Resources at http://www.carriegreenecoaching.com/.