Okay so social media has taken the business world by storm. Many of us have embraced Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Despite some mistakes along the way we have learned that social media is about engaging with our connections and offering them information and news of real value. Most of us have started to see a return in our time invested in social media – new clients, an increase in sales, job interviews, job offers etc.
However there is a concerning trend emerging out there.
Many social media enthusiasts have started to neglect their phones (traditional phones), email and even stopped visiting their clients face to face. A phone has become a tool to tweet, update Facebook and check emails rather than dial numbers. I have noticed it amongst my circle of contacts that certain connections are no longer calling me, but sending me messages via Facebook and Twitter. Now that is not a bad thing, but a phone call every now and again is nice to get. Social media is a really powerful tool that works best working alongside more traditional communication tools. What is the point of generating 20 new clients through social media activity if we lose 25 by neglecting to visit our existing customers and stop picking up the phone? Think of your social media activities as a very powerful tool capable of generating amazing results. And then remember that it is only one of many tools we must use in business or in our job search to get results.
Here’re three communication tools we may not be using enough in our business
It’s fast efficient and gets results, but many of us see the phone as a fearful object with pointy sharp teeth! I think many of us have got out of the routine of picking up the phone and talking to our customers. We are afraid that they might have a problem, complain or say no. So we would rather wait days dancing around the issue and to receive an email instead. Very often the phone can speed up the process and avert a bigger problem from arising. Like face to face meetings phone calls are vital in developing, nurturing a good business relationship.
Face To Face meetings
(Both from a formal boardroom meeting and a more informal get together)– Nothing builds and nurtures a business relationship more that face to face meetings. People are far more likely to be upfront and honest with you when you are talking to them face to face. Also, you are far more likely to pick up “buying signals” or even identify a problem or concern talking to someone face to face. And it kind of goes without saying that we would rather do business with people we know and trust than a complete stranger, so the more we meet our customers face to face the stronger our bond will be.
Hard written letters and cards
(including – Thank you cards) – In a world flooded by emails and tweets, sometimes a traditional approach can get you noticed. Ah yes Hallmark will love me for this, but forget your e-cards and start writing and mailing traditional cards. In August I identified a company that I really wanted to do business with. I found out the name of the decision maker I needed to talk to. I then called, emailed, faxed and tweeted the company to try to talk to him with no success whatsoever. Finally, I decided to send him a handwritten card – introducing myself and explaining why I would like to meet up with him. The card made it past the gatekeepers and 3 meetings later I have just verbally secured business with a top company for 2011.
Do you have any tips for us on other ways we can communicate with our clients? Do you think some people are investing too much of their time on social media? What are your thoughts?