Accompany is Like a Best Friend That Always Rescues You
I once went to a leadership retreat with a few of my peers and forgot the background of our instructor when she walked into the room. Even though I had seen her name on the agenda, I just couldn’t put my finger on how I knew her. A quick search showed I was connected with her on LinkedIn, but that didn’t help much. She came up to me and said “You’re Menaka, right? You used to work at Yahoo! How old is your nephew now? I know you were very excited about him.”
Part of me was embarrassed. I had her name and LinkedIn profile, but I really had no recollection of that conversation. I was also surprised that this woman had such an amazing memory. It’s easy to find information about my prior work, but it’s much harder to remember the details of our conversations and more personal info…not to mention the right pronunciation of my name (Maine-ka). But most importantly, for the next two days I felt like I related to her better. Somehow we had a simple bond of knowing each other, and as a result, our quality of interaction wasn’t superficial.
In the business world, we know how important networking is for your career. The art of networking isn’t just about meeting new people, but it’s also about fostering and sustaining deeper relationships. It’s hard to scale this, however. In the rushed few minutes before any meeting, you can’t possibly do a thorough Google search, monitor what someone’s saying on social media, and also remember the details that got you interested in meeting them in the first place, even if you’ve met before and are already connected via email or LinkedIn. There’s no current data for the average number of LinkedIn connections, but I have more than 500 connections. And that’s not counting the people I haven’t met yet.
But wouldn’t it be amazing if you did have all that information at your fingertips? For example, when I meet my good friend Karen Appleton, I want to ask her how her new gig is going, how her sons Hunter and Austin are doing, and all about that recent vacation she was super excited about. Or when I meet my leadership instructor again, I want to inform her that I implemented some of our training content and it’s been super helpful in the way I lead my team.
I’ve been looking for ways to walk into meetings better prepared, and have tried writing notes in contacts, sending emails and reminders to myself and sometimes even using CRM tools. Although, let’s be honest, my personal network and relationships — like the moms of other kids from my son’s school — aren’t going to be operated out of Salesforce. It’d be way too much work to expect my EA or Chief of Staff to capture all the relevant information and create briefing sheets for every single meeting on both the business and personal side.
When Amy Chang first told me about Accompany, an app that provides all the information you need for anyone you are meeting with in a given day, I couldn’t believe it. Obviously, Amy is a very well respected leader from Google with a product and technical mindset, so I knew this wasn’t going to be “yet another tool.” However, it wasn’t till I started playing with the platform firsthand that I realized it did way more than just solve my meeting prep pain.
Firstly, Accompany nailed the new user experience. It’s magnificent. It’s the kind of product where you log in and immediately think, “Wowza!” I often see news about my network on LinkedIn or in my Google News feed, but the usability around consuming this content is effortless in Accompany. It’s designed for quick and quality reading by bringing all the relevant the information you need within a single platform.
Secondly, I can easily access the details of my upcoming meetings, including participants, their bios, my notes, recent tweets — the list goes on. Not to mention all the mobile benefits, like being able to navigate to your next meeting, send a quick notification if you are running late, or hop on a call to attend a meeting remotely. I don’t need to share the how to because the product is so intuitive you’ll pick it up instantly.
Ultimately, my favorite part of Accompany is the ability to add information and conversational context about people. I can easily add basic information like details about their kids or partner, but also capture any notes I want to recall before our next meeting.
I already find myself relying on Accompany to avoid those awkward moments when I am not prepared or don’t remember the right information I need to drive meaningful conversations. Most importantly, I’m now excited for a day full of meetings knowing I’ll have Accompany there with me, just like a best friend that’s always ready to save the day when you need them most.