Technology is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? We can Skype & Facetime with friends and family across the globe, allowing us to feel closer to those we love even with oceans in between. We can also hold meetings with clients and co-workers around the world expanding our potential customer bases and staff options. Texting, emailing, and social media are just a few ways technology has connected all of us and made our world a true global market place.
With all of these wonderful advancements we may be duped into thinking we don’t need to even pick up the phone or meet in person. There are a couple of reasons I believe neglecting to make an effort of a real life relationship is leaving money on the table and here they are:
Lack of Tone: Have you ever received a text message and weren’t quite sure how to take it? Do you respond with an “LOL” or with a little sad frowny face? With non-verbal messaging and emails you lose the suggestive tone a voice can allow and you also miss out on reading body language. In business this could be a deal breaker. If someone misinterprets a message you have sent as coming off as curt, they don’t think you understand them, or you don’t do well with written communication allowing for many grammatical and spelling errors; they may reconsider doing business with you.
Lack of Clarity: This is the one that truly inspired this article. Until recently, I had been relying on emails and text messages to communicate with my team. This was a big mistake. As far as communicating what needs to be done to reach our business goals, texting and emails don’t cut it. Picking up the phone for 30 minutes a week ensures that everyone is clear on our current and ongoing objectives. You may mistakenly believe, and your team might too, that you all understand the texts and emails, but until you actually speak, I could almost bet money there is SOME level of miscommunication. If your team isn’t on the same page then the work will be sub-par, thereby causing you to leave money on the table, again.
Personal Touch: Everyone likes to feel valued and special with individual attention. Our customers and co-workers are no exceptions. Email can be impersonal and a phone call can be much more appreciated. Pick up the phone and say “hello, how YOU doing?” (in your best Joey Tribbiani voice). The feelings provided by one-on-one verbal communication can lend a tremendous advantage to long term happy relationships.
What about you? Are you “old school” relying on the telephone and face to face meetings or have you fallen victim to all this fancy schmancy technology we have?