In our gig economy we spend a lot of time with technology; some may say too much of our time is spent with our computer, phone and tablets.
Is there something to be said for the old way of doing business?
I recently had a conversation with a colleague about how many things have changed in the way we conduct business over the last 25 years.
Yes, 25 years!
Words like kind, creative and thoughtful came to mind.
We began a comparison between how we connect with colleagues, clients and prospects. We discussed the importance of social media to build a brand and how it complements our ability to connect with a wider audience. Very important! I’m sure everyone will agree that meaningful content creates a platform to start a new conversation.
It may be interesting to calculate: How much business do you close from the internet? If you took into consideration the time, energy and money we spend on creating posts that speak to our brand what is our ROI? Is the time we spend on social no different than the money we used to allocate to an advertising budget? Good questions when analyzing budgets and creating spreadsheets for strategic planning.
There are a few things that we incorporate into our overall communication package that not only represents our brand but keeps us top of mind.
They have been consistent throughout our 25 years in business:
- Introductions: Handshake
The old saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is so true and the first introduction to our company and the services we offer is through our handshake made with eye contact. Over the years, I remember the people who had a firm handshake with a warm smile that set the stage for our future meetings and correspondence.
- Relationship building: Phone calls
How many emails do you receive in a day? An old fashioned phone call is rare in todays business climate. I am surprised how surprised folks are when I pick up the phone rather than send another email that may get buried in the correspondence of the day. It is a great way to establish a relationship and creates what I call the “human connection” that is important for long term business relationships.
Never discount the power of a phone call!
- Gratitude: Thank you notes and cards
Whenever I meet with a prospect I always send a note of thanks and gratitude for taking the time to get together and discuss ideas. Even if there are no opportunities to convert the connection into a client it is just plain old fashion good manners to say “thank you; it was a pleasure to meet you!” Over the years, I’ve received the best referrals from someone who was not on our client list!
- Appreciation and Recognition: Flowers
This is a feel good experience for both the sender and receiver. Sending flowers to commemorate a special occasion, birthday or perhaps an accomplishment is a wonderful way to recognize the folks in our network. It makes you feel important as the sender and who doesn’t enjoy a fresh bouquet of flowers to brighten their day. Male or female, it breaks the gender gap and is appreciated by everyone. A wonderful way to create smiles.
- Etiquette: Dressing for success
I will never forget the story I heard about an entrepreneur who visited a potential client who was at the office dressed in flip flops, shorts and a tank top with a parrot on his shoulder! The story is a great visual reminder that how we dress and behave leaves a lasting impression. It creates a nonverbal dialogue with everyone we meet. I will be forever thankful that I was raised in a home where manners were important and respect for others was expected. I always take a moment or two to reflect on what I’m wearing before I head out the door; it is simply a sign of respect to those we meet. It is a given: be presentable and “on brand.” Combine that with good manners and proper etiquette…they never go out of style!
These five things may seem old fashion, even look simple and will not guarantee a sale, but…one thing for certain, you will be fondly remembered in a world where things are so hectic, we barely take a breath!
Close the computer, put the phone on silent and take a few minutes to update your communication strategy that speaks to your brand.
Keep in mind: What’s old is new again; and who doesn’t want to be remembered for being kind, creative and thoughtful.
Trish is a Master Coach Practitioner. She is certified in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and is also a Certifed Personal Trainer. (CPTN-CPT.M)