We plan all sorts of things especially when it comes to our personal vacations. I've seen terrible office workers with self-proclaimed "no planning sense" plan their holiday trips to the majestic beaches of Mauritius like an auditor goes through accounts.
So detailed, so thoughtful.
Everything is taken care of, everything is sorted out: travel insurance, pineapple juice upon arrival, car rental, activity packages, and they have all the dining venues on a map. They've scheduled a different place for each night.
When it's for your luxury, many people spend more time and creativity on the plan.
When it comes to communication, often people are little wingers (a new word we’ve just coined). Just send an email. Just give him a call. Just get the communication out so we can check the red box and get back to planning the big holiday.
noun: winger; plural noun: wingers; suffix: -winger
1. an attacking player on the wing in soccer, hockey, and other sports.
2. a member of a specified political wing. (“a left-winger”)
3. someone who flings crap together last minute (“He didn’t even tell us he was leaving. What a winger.”)
I've found out that when we plan our communication really well, we tend to have a lot of fun executing it, but when it's merely about communication and just getting it done, it's a drag!
Here's how we do things when it comes to mapping out our communication plan (we treat it like a vacation).
#1. First thing is the Engaging Introduction. Key word here is Engaging. People are introing each other all over the world right now. Different entrepreneurs are being introed to investors. I got introed to 20 people today at an inspiration talk downtown. But....it's got to be engaging. We're coming back to the high school popularity contest. Plan the Engaging Introduction. What story or question catalogue will make you memorable? What sort of email will grab the attention of the reader?
#2. The tangible gift (or 3-Dimensional mailing). Everyone is doing things electronically, so when you mail something as a follow-up or an addition to the story you started in point #1 then you stand out. If there's a good message attached to it, even better.
#3. The Ask. The simplest and most specific way that the person you’re talking to can be involved in what you're doing and/or how you are offering to help them. With this must come the clear and illustrative impact that will happen when they take action.
Example, “You can fund our band on Kickstarter by giving here and sharing this link (it’s already in your inbox) on Facebook. When you do that, you’ll not only get a sweet band t-shirt for supporting our cause, but we’ll also get to come to our upcoming show where all proceeds go to the kids at Hope Academy to inspire them to dream big."
#4. The follow-up. Just checking in. I care about what we talked about and do you have any questions about the ASK? Or how we can work together? Treat this like a follow-up after a first date. Don’t be awkward, overeager, or contact them first thing the next morning. Let the romance marinade a bit, and then when you do follow-up, say it with me, Make It Engaging!
#5. The Thank you. This is not just for people that accept your offer, or give to your cause, or invest in your company, or take on your product. This is for people who have tolerated your last 4 attempts to engage, even if nothing came of it. Naturally, the thank you grows as a deeper connection develops and more is done and achieved through the relationship. Either way, the thank you is a big part of the communication plan. Only 5% of the world writes thank you cards (so I'm told). So the thank you alone puts you in the top 95th percentile of people they've engaged with.
Steps #3 and #4 might have to be done a few times back and forth. Some people delete things, throw them away and plain forget.
Plan your communication like you plan you would you most luxurious vacation and there'll be a lot more relationship successes.
(photo via macswriter)