Based on the title of this blog post, you are probably thinking that I’m going to write about why companies don’t pick up the phone fast enough, or at all. That’s not what this blog is about.
While I feel that the personalization of service is slowly vanishing, I also think that too many of us in our businesses never pick up the phone to speak to someone, person-to-person. We send emails, connect via LinkedIn, tweet or send direct messages through Twitter. Those vehicles of communication are new and great and have many advantages. I have connected with people all of over the globe via social media and email. But, why don’t we periodically pick up the phone and speak rather than write?
There is no substitution for face-to-face encounters. Whenever I am planning to go to a conference or to see an out-of-state client, I first research who might be a connection on LinkedIn, Twitter or perhaps a fellow blogger who may be located in the same geographic area where I am going. I have built stronger relationships with people in my network by seeking and reaching out to them in person. I have gotten to know about their families, been introduced to their spouses and had meaningful conversations over a dinner and glass of wine. Instead of using social media to solely build business connections, I have increased my number of friends that I can also use as confidants and as an external advisory board for my business.
Second to face-to-face encounters for building relationships is employing the telephone. I’m as guilty as everyone else. Instead of calling someone who I’m connected with on LinkedIn or even a client or a prospect, I send emails. Why? I know more and more people work remotely and are in continual meetings, but my new resolution, starting today, is to dramatically increase the number of telephone conversations I have.
In this faster and faster paced world, with technology diminishing the personalization of service, let’s start setting an example for the younger generation. Through our actions, we need to show that one the cornerstones of being happy is building strong personal relationships with a few, versus superficial relationships with many.
The next time you start to write an email, stop! Pick up the phone instead. It will not only make your business more successful, but you will make great friends along the way.