If you've ever been to college, this is THE small piece of advice that my brother gave me when I went off to school: "If you want to fit in and make a LOT of friends at college, leave your door open whenever possible." Why? Because:
- People will wander in.
- You are opening your world to them.
- You are showing them a piece of your universe.
- You are showing them that you are open to their presence (and not closed like a shut door would).
I took my brother's advice and kept my door open whenever I was in my room. It might have impacted my grades a bit, but I was probably friends with 80-90% of the students on campus (it was a small, liberal arts school).
Now let's apply this to your business — how can you "leave your door open whenever possible"? Here are some ideas:
- Be open to your current clients/customers. Make it easy for them to contact and talk to you.
- Ask for feedback often. The most successful businesses are the ones that frequently inquire and act upon customer feedback.
- If you can, meet with your clients face-to-face. I coach primarily over the phone, but I've been breaking that box and meeting with clients in-person. Guess what? They love it!
- Be flexible with your business model. When things are working and you're hitting a wall, leave the door open to new ideas and ways to do things.
- When out in the world, hide the sunglasses, iPod, newspaper. Put on a smile and interact with others. You will find yourself meeting a lot of new and interesting people.
- Ensure that any client/customer touchpoint encourages connection and conversation. Like your website, your business card, your email signature, your brochure. They should all have a direct line to you.
- Use social media (like Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, etc.) to make yourself more available to instantaneous communication with your clients and colleagues.
- Play your music loud to attract others. What I really mean here is to actively behave in a way to encourage others to find you and walk in your location. Have open houses often, invite groups to your location, mix it up with other people!
- Teach your colleagues and team to leave their doors open too. You'll find that many of them have a 'closed door' mentality.
Bottom line, by just leaving your 'door' open, you are opening yourself up to many new exciting and lucrative possibilities that would normally walk right on by.
P.S. If you think of any other "leave your door open whenever possible." ideas, let me know!