Not just an iPhone app
When one thinks about day-to-day communication in corporate America, the odds are good that they automatically picture a computer screen. While email is effective and convenient, it also possesses one fatal flaw – it is impersonal. Real life, in-person, face-to-face communication has become underutilized and undervalued.
Actual face time (not the iPhone app) is the driving force behind building any solid personal relationship, yet it is one of the most neglected forms of communication in today’s society. Companies tend to underestimate the power of in-person interaction as a valuable tool to sell themselves and their services. The benefits of in-person interaction with customers and prospective clients are endless. It allows for actual conversation, thus uncovering commonalities (such as white wine, men, and retail therapy) and providing the opportunity to build a foundation by collecting information about family, food, hobbies, pets, and more. These seemingly trivial facts can set the stage for a long-term, meaningful relationship down the road.
A primary way to differentiate yourself and your company from competitors is by building these personal bonds. It is undeniable that people crave positive, meaningful interactions in their daily life. By deciding to make the investment in these connections, you can be the person that makes a memorable impact in their personal and professional lives. For example, the other day I emailed a prospective client about her recent vacation, and her response was, “I cannot believe you remembered!” Little gestures to show that you take a genuine interest in the lives of those you work with (or want to work with) will set you apart and can make all of the difference.
Taking the time to build meaningful relationships reflects positively on you and your company, and is an invaluable tool for success. For instance, after months and months of communicating through email with a prospective client, I decided it was finally time to make my in-person debut (no red carpet needed). As a result of our lengthy correspondence, we hit it off right away, and voila! A request for a proposal (more commonly referred to as an RFP), and even better, a REAL relationship was born.
Bottom line: everyone enjoys working more when they can work with people they truly like, and in order for someone to truly like you, they must know you and trust you. Putting in the time and effort is a fabulous beginning to what could turn out to be a beautiful and mutually beneficial relationship for all.
Alyssa Klein, Account Executive