Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have made tremendous contributions to the world. One could easily argue that they—along with their teams have changed the world. But, the one thing they (nor anyone else) can change is the need for old-fashioned, face-to-face contact with prospects and customers. In other words, being high tech without sacrificing high touch!
Or as an old Sales Manager of mine used to say, “belly-to-belly, belt buckle-to-belt buckle.”
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We’ve all got a BlackBerry or iPhone or Android or iPad or whatever and all of those are great. They all serve a purpose in allowing you to do your job—but don’t fall into the trap in letting them do your job.
Use those tools to increase your productivity, but be very careful they don’t build a barrier between you and the people that really matter: your customers and prospects. I know email is quick and easy. Heck, the US Postal Service is trying to figure out how to stay in business. I realize text messaging eliminates voicemails, busy signals and no answers. In fact more text messages are sent in this country than calls are made. But, they are no substitute for personal interaction with people. None. Nada. Zip.
Call your customers. Visit them. Write them hand-written notes and letters. In today’s world, just one hand-written letter will stand out so much from the day’s normal allotment of junk mail, that it’s bound to be noticed!
Block out a set amount of time each day or each week to write Thank You notes and sign letters. I always like to sign in a color other than black so that it is more evident that it’s not a mass produced, copied signature. In fact, my favorite is green (more on that in a future blog).
Set aside time each day to call customers and prospects, preferably from a land line. If you call them on their cell phone you can reduce the chance of a “dropped call” by 50% by doing so.
The bottom line is this: NEVER sacrifice high touch for high tech. There’s not an app for that!
Many times I’m asked, “Should I give my customers and prospects my cell number?” Absolutely! You should be accessible at all times and this is one way to make the technology work with you. Put that number on your business card and if possible get a number that is very easy to remember. Some cell providers actually allow you to get a vanity cell number—look into it. It certainly may be worth it to you! For example, if you’re in real estate wouldn’t you love to have 555-HOME? Or in auto sales, how about 555-CARS or even your name 555-JOHN or 555-4DEB. Be creative and make it work with you—not for you.