Everybody is connected to the actor, Kevin Bacon. You may be familiar with the “six degrees of separation” theory that says it takes just six personal associations to reach anyone in the United States. For example, I know someone, who knows someone I don’t know, who knows someone else, who knows someone, who knows Kevin Bacon. So I am just six people associations from Kevin Bacon and Kevin could eventually get to me, too. Why? Maybe he wants a job.
Last month I was blind-sided in a good way. A retail client of one of our insurance clients has a friend in the e-commerce business who wanted to outsource some of their customer sales and service business. Did you follow that one? We had no idea this e-commerce company even existed, but through several degrees of sales networking a contact was made.
I can't emphasize enough the value of networking and building meaningful relationships with all stakeholders of GCS. We get our biggest value from networking when our clients refer us to other users of outsourced customer care and service. But we can also gain network value from talking to our suppliers, our industry peers, brokers and, yes, even social friends.
Recently, we had an opportunity to talk to a boutique-type airline about outsourcing their reservation services to us. We had never heard of this small airline and have no other contacts in that industry. However, we do know the large, public airlines have historically outsourced their customer service. We now started a dialogue with that airline and hope to someday call them a client. Who introduced us to this prospect? One of our very own Client Service Directors who used to work for this airline fifteen years ago.
So, this is not a role solely for the sales and marketing department. Networking and building meaningful relationships with prospective clients should be the responsibility of all of us. Make sure everyone you know, knows what we do.
Let’s continue to find more prospective clients and let someone else find Kevin Bacon.