It used to be the command fix to reboot software; effectively a refresh to clear out whatever glitch was hindering the software’s performance. For those of us of a certain age, it really wasn’t that long ago! We now routinely rely on countless layers of software in our communications.
When I first went to command a destroyer, as was customary, I spoke with many seniors who had gone before me as I finished my final command preparation. Now-retired Admiral John Harvey, at the time a Captain, wryly counseled, “at the bare minimum you have to get your ship to its appointed place in time and show up with a working radio.” On one level, it was incredibly simple advice. However, applied more broadly, it can serve myriad circumstances.
Keep things simple.
Of course, ships have many ways to communicate among themselves. Things happen at sea (and ashore) that can cloud the simplicity of executing that wise counsel.
I’ve commented previously as the pandemic was forcing us all into remote, or at least creative, work settings, about how fortunate we are to have the connectivity we do during this pandemic.
Can you imagine the consequences of not being able to work remotely these past several months?
So, how are you taking advantage of the technologies?
Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Whereby, Free Conference Call, Face Time, Google Hangouts, and the list goes on. Each method has subtle intricacies that may differentiate them positively or negatively.
- Have you asked your customer which they prefer?
- Do policy restrictions prevent use of certain channels?
- Can you reach your customer via a personal email or phone number?
- Is such a communication authorized?
We’ve been at this now for several months in one form or another. Here’s a common theme – the government customer is still working, and is available through these technologies. You only have to choose one, but it has to work every time.
Have a backup plan when you are coordinating a group meeting with customers. As great as the technologies are, they are imperfect. You may only have 20-30 minutes scheduled with your customer. Don’t waste 10 of those precious minutes getting connected. Take control in advance of the meeting by articulating your plan B for communicating with all parties on the scheduled meeting.
In the military, this concept is referred to as “kicking” to another frequency. When communications are difficult or garbled, everyone knows to “kick” to the next channel in the plan. You can do the same.
Lead your customer.
Need help engaging with the federal government for policy or access to funding for your product? If you need help with this, schedule a call with Gene.
To get a copy of Gene Moran’s book Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring Circus of Federal Sales or for more information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.