The art of Collaboration and a good first impression - Working with Partners.
Every company strives for meaningful partnerships, especially in the startup phase. Meaningful partnerships start with creating a good impression. It's very easy for me to call you and say this is Don calling from Google. I have immediate credibility, access and audience. Try that with I'm calling from ...(add any name you want).
I've been lucky enough to work with some of the best people at creating a good impression. When Niko, my friend and colleague from IBM, was starting his new recruitment business, he didn't go small (it's not in his nature). He hired a "cool" graffiti artist to do this ...
This is a full sized mural on the office call (on the left are power sockets). In his brand new business, in a industry he'd never worked in before, he painted one entire wall of a rented office (remember it had to be removed when we left).
Needless to say we did really well and moved to an even bigger office a year later.
The point is that he had mastered the art of the "statement," or first impression. He told everyone; customers, team and those who were coming for interviews that "we mean't business."
I'm much more a nuts and bolts type (I need to know how things work), but I do understand where creating a visual impression makes sense.
People are very visual creatures. Intensely stimulated by powerful and evocative images and to a degree need to know they're working with a grade A, B or C partner.
I'm going to tell one more story about Niko, (because I have plenty - many related to the theme of sales, business and visual self confidence).
When the No.2 of Honda in Europe was coming to see our "prestige" pan European outsourcing operation, Niko took it upon himself to approach a local Honda dealer to borrow some merchandise. He physically manhandled a motorcycle up three flights of stairs and displayed it on the floor as the man entered.
Later, in the restaurant, Niko draped a large Honda banner across the room. He had previously badgered Honda UK to send us extra merchandising gear, so there was plenty of red and white. It was later remarked on by the elegant Japanese gentleman that he immediately felt understood and welcomed when he had arrived for his visit.
Niko had taken a number of steps to ensure a "visual" presence. Steps that would have gone undone by pretty much everyone else (including me).
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Moving forward to the present day, we've taken a similar tack with Carista. We're adding high quality videos to our YouTube channel (and from there everywhere else). This will set the tone, developing a better first impression than we could do on our own.
Forgetting about the quality of the work for a minute, it saves time, effort and heartache to partner up and develop a better product. If you can't do it yourself, hire someone who can, seems really simple. You'd be quite surprised at how often people try the opposite approach.
With thanks to Stratospheric Productions for their excellent work.
Just in case you were interested..office 1 and office 2.
If you've ever watched the Expendables 3, that's the building.