BIG GREEN DOTS, please...🌎
As the business industry grapples with new ways to work remotely, communicate, and literally keep the lights on, maybe one solution is just a phone call away.
Last week, a longtime friend called to check on me. He was going down a list of all the people he cared about to make sure everyone was well. It was just a simple phone call, but it was touching and sparked a reaction for me to do the same.
So, my partner and I decided to begin with a list of business associates and reached out to a well-known and respected Architect in Georgia. He and my partner go back so long ago they can’t even remember how they met. What they do remember are the projects they completed together – each working autonomously to bring a valuable, yet different skillset to the table.
The conversation morphed from what our friend had planted in his garden that week to how his firm was doing. He, too, had been ruminating on the shift in priorities of his clients and developing ways he could bring them additional value. This thought process lead to him asking us to become his solar subcontractor for an upcoming RFP, and by the end of the conversation we had agreed to implement ways our companies could begin teaming on projects and sharing marketing efforts. We hung up and realized our contact list had just expanded exponentially and so had his.
A second phone call was similar and timely as our colleague of many years said he had planned to call us about a large solar opportunity that was just developing in Florida. Although very knowledgeable and skilled to do the work himself, he felt his client would benefit from having both our companies working together rather than him doing it alone. The combination of our reputations and work history would carry more weight with this large corporation and the client would benefit from our well-oiled team.
The more calls we made the better we felt as business leaders and friends and human beings, and we realized most of the names on this business list would be duplicated on the personal one. Those we had chosen as colleagues were also friends because of the trust and camaraderie we had built with them over the years. They were genuinely glad to hear from us and happy to talk to someone who understood and voiced their concerns. We shared our knowledge of solar interconnections and electrical runs with engineers in Virginia looking to expand on their expertise, and had discussions with farmers in Illinois on how to decipher the tapestry of legal paperwork to get every tax incentive available to them.
We weren’t making sales calls, yet we were developing business simply by strengthening our long-term relationships and coming up with ways to work cohesively rather than autonomously – recasting our foundations. We were continuing to successfully network with the same great people we had known for years, and knew it was the one thing that would maintain us through this crisis.
I hope the world maps will soon change. We could all use a positive visual of large green dots across the globe representing new creative business ventures and crisscrossed lines linking connections of renewed relationships - rather than maps showing our unfortunate travel patterns and big red dots symbolizing the spread of a deadly virus.