Business is personal!
“What I do is relationship based, technology agnostic and process agnostic”, explains Adrian Swinscoe. Not only that, but how he does it is very human and personal, just like him. His consultancy RARE Business helps businesses develop and implement customer-focused, sustainable growth strategies, and the RARE Forum enables businesses to share ideas and experiences through TED style talks and facilitated networking and debate.
The very first RARE Forum was held on November 3rd in London, covering topics from importance of asking for customer feedback to ingredients of powerful leadership. We were also asked to identify our own passions in life and make sure we show our human side in all things business and leadership. I went home energised and with renewed belief that it’s ok to be who you are, even in business – that in fact it’s a strength and not a weakness.
Is your business leaking customers?
Adrian takes issue with Marketing books that ignore the key ingredient that is ‘People’. One of his pet peeves are businesses who give new customers better deals, larger discouns and more freebies than to existing customers. “What’s that all about?” asks Adrian. “No wonder their marketing budgets are huge when they need to constantly replace customers”.
This attitude is what Adrian wants to change by helping businesses develop growth strategies that are based on existing customers: “The analogy I use is the song ‘There’s a hole in my bucket’. If you look at the song, it becomes an infinite loop. So if you’re always on the hunt for acquiring new clients, one of the challenges is that you end up like that little hamster on a hamster wheel.”
Blogging as a networking and marketing tool
Despite having put together RARE Forum, Adrian admits he himself doesn’t ‘do networking’ as most of us know it. Instead he has effectively created his own network which operates through his blog. “The blog is not just a platform for my ideas.”
He interviews people for his blog, thus introducing them to his readership, giving them exposure and helping them make connections. That’s exactly how he came across Like Minds for the first time: when interviewing Scott Gould for his blog. And one of Adrian’s latest interviews is with Mark Mullen, freshly appointed CEO of First Direct. He has also invited a group of his readers into a blog commenting group, committed to reading and commenting each other’s blogs, thus helping spread the word and feeding off each others’ thoughts and ideas.
As an extension for his blog, Adrian has also written a book in a fashion true to his passion: by including customers and not just keeping them as bystanders. The book introduces 16 companies’ ways of operating in a customer centric way, and it is available as an e-version by request. “People love being asked to contribute”, Adrian says. His book is available as e-version by request.
How to network with a ‘non-networker’?
If you didn’t get a chance to attend RARE Forum this year, you can connect to Adrian through his blog or go catch him at the City Business Library where he regularly donates his time as a speaker in their business seminars. That’s where he also tends to test his latest workshop and other ideas. And of course Adrian can be found a the Like Minds Club, working and talking to people.
To wrap up, a reminder by Adrian of this wonderful quote by Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Hear hear!