You have the latest iPhone, Android, HTC (insert whatever brand you carry). You love it. It can do so many things. You can check email, play games, connect on social media, read the paper, take photos – all from wherever you find yourself. When you think about it, all these added features have changed, or at least are changing, the way we do business.
Yet so many business owners forget that what the telephone is really meant to be used for is to connect with people (your customers) in a time critical, yet warm and meaningful way. Note the use of the terms warm and meaningful.
How many times have you sent an email or instant message, when you probably would have been best served picking up your phone and calling someone? I’m not pointing the finger here, as I do that sometimes too.
And yes, sometimes we want to have the conversation written down as a reminder for both parties what was said. But in the interests of everyone being on the same page, talking over the phone (or face to face/via Skype video call) is so much better. Why?
- You’re more likely to build a stronger relationship with the person you’re talking with. Do that enough times and you’re likely to get to know each other. And people like to do business with people they know.
- You’re more likely to hear about problems they’re facing – something you or one of your other contacts might be able to solve. Helping solve someone’s issue of the day/week/month often cements you as someone worth spending more time with or recommending to other people.
- There are less misunderstandings around tone – what you mean as a bit of fun, can often be taken as offensive or angry. But when people listen to the tone of your voice (or see your face), they have a much better chance at distinguishing what you actually mean.
- You can quickly set dates for meetings or deadlines (rather than doing the many rounds of email ping-pong backwards and forwards when dates/times don’t work). Think of all the time you’ll save.
And yes, if it’s necessary, you can always follow up with a roundup of the conversation via email.
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Image courtesy of PHONE © Mariusz Szachowski | Dreamstime.com