I'll admit it, I'm a slave to my laptop / iPad / SmartPhone. I like to think of myself as pretty organized. I'm usually focused on the right task at the right time which is essential to staying on top of your game. Except when it isn't.
What about the tasks and activities that never show up in your inbox or on your task list? What about the things that you should be doing that you're not even aware of? How do you know what you don't know?
Last week I attended an industry conference called the Council for Electronic Billing and Payment. This is a show that I hadn't attended before and I had two primary reasons for going: first, it was a topic that our company is very interested in and second, it was in New Orleans in February.
The show had a number of sessions on a variety of topics and it was informative, but nothing that I couldn't learn sitting at my desk in about half the time. The real value was in the networking. I met some competitors, some partners, and some former coworkers from my Paytrust days. I left with probably five to seven meaningful follow ups that if I sat at my desk, I wouldn't have had.
We've been on a big push recently with our team to visit with clients and prospects. We frankly had become too dependent on webinars for selling and training. They're easy to setup, convenient because there's no travel headaches, and very cost effective. However, they're awful for building relationships. They're awful if you want to have a real conversation about what kind of pain someone is having. If you want to talk to someone, they're great; if you want to have a meaningful dialog, forget it.
So lesson learned, go visit someone, you never know what you'll learn.