When I raised my hand to attend Passle’s first ever event Rainmaker 2018, I’ll be honest in saying I didn’t know what I’d put myself up for. A chance to learn and meet new people was something I’m always eager for. And I’m a big fan of the Passle tool and their way of doing things, so the stars aligned in my mind.
I turned up with an open mind, ready to learn and took away some surprising lessons. Here are my top five lessons from the day.
Don’t Relate to a Customer, Relate to a Person
The first talk was given by the empowering Andrea Clatworthy, Fijitsu’s head of account-based marketing. She walked us through the benefits her company had seen from switching to an ABM method within Fijitsu and her discoveries of what made ABM successful.
Andrea quoted the following as key traits for a successful ABMer:
- Ability to Relate to the Customer – walk a mile in their shoes.
- Eye for Detail – so no forgetting those key dates!
- Creativity – stepping out of the box to solve customer’s problems.
However what really struck me from her talk wasn’t about a customer, rather how she was teaching her team to relate to their customers as people. They weren’t just someone who had access to the purse strings or a code to a safe, but they were living, breathing people who had lives outside of work, and most importantly people who had Birthday’s.
Learning: Always be a human, because that’s who you’re talking to at the other end of the line.
It’s Okay to Show Your Weaknesses
The next speaker who caught my ear was Kenny Logan. Again I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of Kenny before he stepped up to the stage but by the end I felt like I did. He shared with us his personal tale of achieving success against great adversity. A rugby player who couldn’t read.
The talk was entertaining, he shared titbits about coping strategies and emotional moments when his secret was discovered, but what struck me the most was his message about being yourself and showing the world you have a weakness. Sometimes we suffer or experience things which makes our journey different from those on similar paths, but we shouldn’t keep them locked away.
So much time is wasted on this unhelpful pursuit of hiding who we truly are in plain sight. Kenny implored us to consider all the things we could’ve have been focused on if we didn’t have our mind and energy wrapped up in keeping our secret away from other’s ears. How much lighter we would feel in general. It’s okay to show you’re not perfect. Embrace your weakness and move along with it without it weighing you down.
Learning: Stop wasting energy on being someone else. Just be you.
Diversity is Everything
The middle of the presentations gave away to a more traditional panel event. Something I’m not opposed to but sadly after a few minutes of trying I found myself unable to engage with those on the stage.
It’s an easy mistake to make. You’re looking for a certain role, and a certain amount of experience and due to certain circumstance, there isn’t much diversity in the options you have when asking people to be on a panel, but this is when going the extra mile is so important. In fact it’s everything. The panel at Rainmaker consisted of 4 white, middle-aged men. Their opinions were different, but I felt there was a distinct lack of diversity in the experiences and communicate styles, which led to a difficult listen.
If we want to learn more about adapting to new challenges faced by rainmakers, we need to be hearing from those who are nurturing these people, and even the rainmaker’s themselves, whatever age, race or gender they may be. Thankfully when I passed on this feedback to Passle, they listened with open ears and I’m excited to see what happens at their next event.
Learning: Every voice needs to be heard.
Talk to Everyone
Her talk focused on how powerful influence can be in the world of war, and how knowing one small connection between two people can change the game significantly. She shared with us a powerful tool, which enabled its user to map out how people were connected to one another but then also layered on top, who influenced who.
This got me thinking. Imagine if you don’t ever really know who influences the last say, then your focused shouldn’t be on the c-suite. Instead your focus should be on anyone you feel a connection to. Rainmaker’s make rain because they have strong connections to people on all levels.
Learning: Don’t see people as their job role. There’s no need – just talk to who you get on with.
Talk to Your Existing Network
As with most conferences there were key moments to talk with other attendees, which can be a challenging task but it’s a great opportunity to learn and share experiences from others.
After much Passle focused talk I happened to start a conversation, over a cup of Tea I might add, with a in-direct customer of Tribal. It didn’t take us long to uncover the truth, and we proceeded to have an in-depth conversation about a recent project I’d been working on. It was a fantastic opportunity to get some honest feedback about how we could do things better at Tribal, which is one of our core values, and I promptly pulled out my notebook to take notes.
Sometimes at an event like this it isn’t about the learnings you gather from the speakers on the stage or the new connections you make, rather it’s about connecting to your existing communities and hearing what they have to say. And in an ideal world, acting upon it.
Learning: Listen up and take notes.
I look forward to embracing these new learnings, and of course, attending the next Passle event whatever it may be.