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The heart of tech

This article was published on February 13, 2017

    Out of toilet paper, please send help!

    Out of toilet paper, please send help!
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    Our conferences are very personal. To the point that I explain at the beginning of each of them that everyone should immediately complain to me if something is wrong. And then I joke that “that means if you’re stuck on the loo without any toilet paper, just tweet me and I’ll come to the rescue!”

    People laugh and I get funny tweets the rest of the day about toilet paper or other silly requests for help. I enjoy having that personal connection, and it seems like our audience does too.

    When I’m not on stage, I spend my time walking around and chatting with attendees. I’ll walk up to a group of people, say hello, and ask them if they are enjoying the show; if there’s anything I can do to make it better. It’s great to talk to people, and every now and then I’m asked for something and I make sure it’s handled.

    All of which shows how extremely simple it is to build a genuine and personal relationship with your customers. Personal connections are scaleable, yet not enough companies embrace this opportunity.

    Would you believe that everyone reading this newsletter has a direct line of contact to me? It’s true. This weekly update goes to 250,000 people. And I respond to everyone who replies to it. But not a lot of people do. I believe that’s because if you show your customers that you trust them with your contact details, they do their best not to take advantage of that trust. Just knowing that they could get through is what really matters.

    So try it. Open yourself – and your business – to your customers. Be bold and trusting and available. And send me an email letting me know. Don’t be so shocked when I respond. Then check out our conference and consider meeting me at the event. Five uninterrupted (hopefully) minutes of my time could be all yours… along with the other 15,000 attendees. Because no matter how much our conference grows, we understand the benefits of being personal.


    This is my introduction text for last week’s issue of our TNW Weekly update. You can read the whole newsletter here, or sign up to receive your own copy.