It happens in every company, eventually the internal dynamics become more important than what happens with the customer, what he wants to talk about, what he's thinking about. Often, in fact, we prefer the detached rooms of research to a human contact. Asking while you're eyeball to eyeball, knee deep in his world, would be too simple.
It happens even in FriendFeed rooms and at social media conferences. Sometimes I think these are the modern versions of rock band tours - meeting the same groupies from event to event. There is nothing wrong with having one long conversation with those who we perceive as like-minded, those who live and breathe the same issues, in the same environment.
But, the forward movement in awareness and growth happens when we encounter differing views, different ways of seeing the world - especially when those views are those of paying customers or potential partners for business opportunities.
Are you prepared to broach the topic of marketing, communications and public relations on social media with them starting from where they're at? Do you truly take their seat and begin with their world, their reality, their challenges? It can be uncomfortable, it can get down right frustrating at times. But that's where you can make the most difference.
Inside your company silo, inside any social network, you're mainly talking to those who are figuring things out for themselves and with each other. How do you relate to the others? How do you cut across? How do you get out of that? Do you?
What are three things you are doing to get out more? Of your comfort zone, your industry, your work environment, your circle of acquaintances, your way of thinking, etc.
[image from a different angle by Pixelmaniac]