Day 4: Game Day.
After just a few hours of sleep, I woke up and my mind instantly focused on the task ahead of us today. This was the reason we’d flown half way around the world. To train the domestic sales team who would eventually be selling the social media service to the Chinese business, and to present to a selection of Chinese businesses who may be interested in investing in our service. No pressure. I rolled out of bed, looked out of the window and watched Hangzhou wake up also. The sun began its daily battle with the smog that fills the city, managing to shine enough today to fill our hotel room, waking Kane in the process. I hit the shower and start considering what to wear for the day. We had spent the whole night before going over the presentation, meticulously perfecting every element of its deliverance – but for some reason neither of us mention it this morning.
On the way to the office the driver stops at Starbucks and we get a little taste of home in a cup before continuing on to the office. Walking into the office feels amazing. It is such a cool place, full of such talented people – feeling a part of it is quite exhilarating. There may not be two companies whose values, ambitions and culture match up quite as well as Giraffe and Global Primo. A match made in heaven. We already feel part of the team, having seamlessly slotted into our role as the Social Media Division. Lisa greets us and after having some group conversations about a new product that they’re working with through their trading company, Hongjin, we head down to the presentation room to prepare for the two imminent presentations.
We connect up our laptop and start testing everything to ensure we’re fully prepared. The craziness of what is happening begins to sink in. We’re in China, about to present to a Chinese sales team. How did this happen again? No time for reveling in the surreal excellence of the situation, as the sales team begin to pile in. One thing that is clear, is how lovely the team are. One of the members of the team who has the best English approaches us and introduces himself, telling us how he pleased he is to have the experience of listening to us talk about Western Social Media. This instantly helps us feel at ease. The presentation is a guide to how Social Media is used in the Western world, how it differs greatly from how social media marketing is implemented in China. It is here we get our first taste of Jacky, he is the Director of Operations, but it becomes clear that he perhaps also moonlights as a translating presenter genius. In a split second, he has to listen to what we say, remember it all, translate it and jazz it up into a presentation style. He is remarkable. The presentation finishes up and although it went well, it is clear that it is too long and too content rich. Jacky sheds some light on how presentations work best for Chinese audiences, and we begin work over lunch to condense it and perfect it in time for the second audience later that afternoon.
Just as the heads of businesses turn up, we finish up the presentation revamp, with the help of superstar Jacky Ge. The room fills up with maybe 25-30 people, all here to learn from us and decide whether social media marketing to the West is something they need for their business. The presentation goes amazingly well, the changes made have taken it to another level, and then room receives it very well. After it is finished we hold a quick Q&A where we do our best to further the audience’s knowledge and understanding of the cultural differences between social media in the West and social media in China. The audience were a lovely group of people and after we finish the Q&A we start mingling and hearing how excited they all are about going with Global Primo for social media. We’re over the moon, job done.
Once everyone has left, Kane and I head to the most air conditioned room we can find to cool off. We debrief with everyone about how it went and we all revel in the moment of “ahh, it’s done – and it went great”. Kane and I agree that we’ve never felt quite so mentally exhausted. We head out to the Sheraton hotel, next to ours for a comforting Western style meal. We walk back to our hotel room and collapse into a deep sleep.
In the year and a half we have been in business, this had been one of the most testing and challenging days of all. But at the same time, it was utterly amazing – and a day of extreme growth, both personally and as a business. As our good friend Lawrence always tells us; the best things happen outside of your comfort zone – so get uncomfortable. The beginning of something amazing may have just occurred. Good night.