Memo to Managed Service Providers: Be George Costanza
Some technology vendors are canceling face-to-face events to conserve cash. Other technology pundits are embracing telepresence to drive video conference discussions.
It’s wise to closely monitor your business spending. But it’s time for managed service providers to emulate George Costanza of Seinfeld fame. In one classic episode of the sitcom, George discovers he’s far more successful when he does the exact opposite of his initial instincts.
Translation: While everyone else is canceling business travel you should get out on the road. Now. Here’s why.
First, let me clarify my statements. I am not suggesting that you should attend expensive conferences and trade shows that don’t deliver business value.
Hit the Road
Instead, you need to get in a car, on a plane or on a train and visit your customers far more frequently than ever. Show them love. Show them that you’re engaged with their business and technology needs. Show them that you understand they are struggling amid the economic turbulence.
As George said in “The Opposite” episode:
“Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s often wrong.”
If your instinct is to cut business travel and transition your customer conversations to phone calls and email, you need to do exactly the opposite.
Don’t cut your customer-facing costs. Instead, cut your internal costs by evaluating every bill you receive each month and determining if there’s an easier, cheaper way to do business.
Hopefully, we’ll see you on the road in Q4 2008 and throughout 2009. But far more importantly: Your customers need to see you.