This article is the third in a series of 10 articles on the techniques which can be used to get Roaming Partners to sign Roaming Agreements with you. Seduction may not sound like the right word for the skill needed to get other Operators to be your partner, but what we really mean here is that you have to “win them over” to your way of thinking. These articles are intended to help you get your roaming agreements signed and launched quick!
“Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none” – Benjamin Franklin
Being sociable is a skill that some of us have naturally and others clearly lack. Sometimes the last thing on earth you might want to do is contact someone from a different culture and try and bond with them.
I used to have a Roaming Coordinator working for me who had this exact problem. He found it painful to follow up with Roaming Partners and typically would complain about why they weren’t contacting him back. He was clearly uncomfortable with chatting to them and it came across to the people he contacted, creating an awkwardness instead of building rapport.
Sociability is a hurdle because it usually requires openness that some people or cultures find extremely challenging.
There’s a value in the way you socialize that is tremendously powerful to the delivery of projects. Play the role well and I guarantee you that you will get the kind of results that you need to reach your targets.
The Basic Technique: Get yourself connected to the GSMA Infocentre 2 and build your community of contacts in Roaming Partners through this tool. You should also have a Linked-in profile that may help you to find the right contacts too.
This works because you become more visible towards your Roaming Partners and you start to build relationships that you can draw on in times of need.
The Seduction: This is easy, in a world where no one has the time to make a personal approach; the one communication technique that never seems to fail especially when combined with persistence is the telephone.
We are in mobile communications, put your important Roaming Partners on your speed dial and give them a weekly call. Don’t be a nuisance but make a conscious effort to call them at a specific time each week, they will start to expect your call and perhaps they will even prepare for it.
I used to work with a brilliant IREG Manager who lived in Manchester England, she had the idea to send a small present (from her own personal money!) from Manchester United Football Club to her important Roaming Partners, as you can expect she stood out from the crowd with this approach and she got all her IREG targets met quickly and made some good colleagues around the world.
This works because it not only builds a relationship with the Roaming Partner which may help in future requirements you may have but it also just gets the project (Roaming Agreements are individual projects and don’t forget it) moving faster.
This industry is built on relationships. Now I know that making a special effort like this takes time, but the results of this extra effort demonstrates to your manager that the time taken to build relationships will in effect speed up the overall delivery of your Roaming Agreements.
Look out for next weeks article on Technique Number 7.
Grow Roaming Consult Rocco.