Email, texting, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, MySpace, Tumblr, blogs and virtual meetings- how did we ever conduct business before these tools were invented? All of these can be effective for communications, but are they effective in building and maintaining professional relationships? Are they effective in helping us improve our results?
As business continues to improve, and we put the challenging economic time behind us, it is important for us to improve interactions with our customers, potential customers and partners. Let’s use this time to get back out in front of our current customers and thank them for their loyalty during the great recession. Let’s reach out to our industry partners and show our gratitude for sticking with us. It is also time to venture out and meet with potential new customers to share how our product or service can bring value to their organization. The best way to ensure that we get our fair share of the improving business climate is still driven by relationships and personal interaction.
If you are like me, you receive between 75 and 200 emails each day; receive approximately 10 phone calls and only a few pieces of mail (some days I get one thing addressed to me by name). Since it is so few, I tend to look at every piece of mail that I receive. If our competitors are going to rely on email, texting and the latest social media tools why not mix in some of the old techniques and set ourselves apart from our competition? We have a huge opportunity to reach out with handwritten notes, personal phone calls and in person meetings. I believe we can combine the new technology available today with our best practices of yesterday. My suggestion is to establish a game plan for the next quarter with specific goals for:
- Handwritten notes- # of handwritten notes you will send each week
- Phone conversations- # of calls you will make each week
- Face to Face discussions- # of conversations you will have each week
“Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers.” Ross Perot
When you combine the ‘old fashion’ way of doing business with these new technologies, the sky is the limit for us to improve our communications and our professional relationships…which will improve our results in 2012!
Do you agree?
If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in “Holiday Networking for Hospitality Industry Professionals”.