It may seem as though I have been neglecting you, but, like everyone else in the home-stretch of Q4, I’ve been so busy. In fact, I went on my first business trip! I feel so “grown-up” saying it, and I felt even more “grown-up” getting on a plane, staying in a hotel, and going to meetings with clients for two days.
I went to Los Angeles, Calif. with my supervisor to meet with one of our big clients. We met to a) meet face to face for the first time (for me at least), b) discuss progress from the past month we’ve been working with them and c) discuss social media plans for 2010.
Sidenote: Holy crap it’s almost 2010.
Let me just say, we came up with some awesome ideas while locked up in a conference room for eight hours each day. We have now mapped out an entire social media plan for the first half of 2010; complete with promotions, execution plans, timelines and prizes. I’m stoked.
It was an incredible learning experience for me. Not only was I in meetings all day long with VPs and Directors, I was also managing other clients during some (rare) difficulties. I learned about the inner-workings of this company and now have a better understanding of the kinds of things they do and the detailed process in which they do them.
But what I learned form the most, was my supervisor. He. Is. Awesome. You see, my vision of what agencies do goes a little like this:
“I’m preparing for a business trip. It’s with this client and this is what they want and this is my plan and this is how I’m going to execute it. Period.”
However, with my supervisor, this wasn’t the case. I have no idea how much he prepared for this business trip. I know we prepared a presentation (that we didn’t even present), but as far as I know, that’s about it. Funny thing is, he didn’t need to prepare. He has an incredible understanding of business and how business should be. Instead of walking into a meeting with predisposed plans and predetermined methods, he walked in to the meeting with an open mind. Want to know the craziest part? He listened. Our company actually listened! We listened to what the client had to say. My supervisor asked questions that were thought provoking and incited the client to describe (in detail) their goals, how they see social media contributing to their personal job and how we, Context Optional, could help them achieve their goals. Now, these goals varied depending on each individual job, but that didn’t matter. My supervisor continued to listen and respond no matter what the goal was. From there, we devised plans that incorporated everyone’s goals and (hypothetically) achieved them. It was incredible to watch and be a part of.
Now, you may be asking yourself why I put the word listen in italics each time it was mentioned. That’s because people don’t listen anymore. I don’t know whether it’s because they’re preoccupied, distracted, careless, or all of the above, but people don’t listen. Therefore, they don’t respond properly. They don’t succeed with clients because they don’t make them happy because they don’t listen.
Context Optional listens. And I am so lucky to be a part of that. I am so exited to see all of our big ideas, pitched to head-honchos, come alive.