Technology is a wonderful thing for entrepreneurs. The convenience of email, texting, cell phones, and even being friends and followers on social media platforms have all made it so easy to stay in touch with clients and prospective clients. The (what used to be difficult) task of staying in contact is now extremely easy. From regularly scheduled email newsletters to scheduled social media posts, you can reach your entire database without much effort. For more personal communication, you can call them while you’re in the car. If you have developed a comfortable relationship, even texting a quick hello might be appropriate.
Has technology made it too easy? Has it encouraged business owners to become complacent when it comes to developing a special business relationship?
Kick technology to the curb
Using all the technology available to you makes sense for convenience, time management, and being able to reach a larger number people in a shorter amount of time. But there is still a need for one-on-one interaction. Considered the difference it would make if you really made your business relationships personal. Just once in a while, make that special effort. There are easy ways to do this that don’t take up much time. But the payoff is exceptional! Some ideas are:
- Invite them to attend a networking event with you.
- Meet them for a cup of coffee to learn what is happening with them and their business.
- You have to eat, so why not meet over lunch?
- Call them just to say hello.
- When you’re out running errands or going to an appointment and you’re close to their office, “pop in” to say hello. (If you just drop by, be sure not to spend much time there, since you don’t have an appointment and will most likely be interrupting their day.
Imagine what an impression you’d make if you did any of the above once in a while.
What if you stop by and they aren’t in or are in a meeting? No problem; just leave your card and ask that your card be passed on. Write a note on the back “just dropping by to stay in touch.”
Make it part of your routine
There are simple ways to incorporate this into your routine. I know it works because I have implemented some of these suggestions into my home inventory business. One possibility is to take one morning or afternoon a month and map out a section of town, then determine how many stops you can make. An even less time-consuming process would be to add one stop every time you go to a meeting, a luncheon, or to another client’s office. Which client or prospect is on the way or close by? Put it on your calendar so you don’t forget. A few extra minutes added to every trip you take will be a minimal commitment, but one that can pay off quite well in customer retention, building a strong relationship with a referral source, or creating the opportunity to turn a prospect into a client.
Technology plays a major role in the business world, but it’s important to remember that people buy from people – people they like, know, and trust.