Want to Build a Business Relationship? Use the Phone!
Someone asked a question today and it reminded me of something I wanted to discuss. The question was centered around funding for a small business, specifically a Capital One credit card. The answer to the question was fairly simple – contact the company directly and speak with a sales representative.
The idea of talking to another human being is slowly becoming a thing of the past. I understand why – outsourcing tasks to automation, web services and a host of amazing SaaS companies allow much of our day to day actions to be completed without ever have to speak to another person. That works really well… until it doesn’t.
Use the Phone
There are so many things that can be better handled with a quick call or conversation. There are nuanced conversations that are far more appropriate for a phone or Skype call instead of an email. The challenge, of course, comes in deciding when to call or meet in person instead of just emailing. My criteria here is if the conversation has significant implications for my business or personal life, I will do my best to reach out directly and speak in person.
The default position nowadays seems to be “Oh, I’ll just email them.” That’s all well and good until you realize what that decision really means. Sending the email makes us feel as though we achieved something – we checked an item off the to-do list. But did it get done? Are we actually any further ahead? And then we need to look at the other side of that equation – the person receiving the email. We will be one of the dozens if not hundreds of emails the other person will receive that day. We will be part of a long queue of items that need another email back… to then go on your to-do pile. As you well know, this is the never-ending cycle of email hell.
Beyond the to-do cycle, you have the issue of nuanced dialogue. As a career salesperson and now business trainer, I have a keen sense of the value of the words we use. The tone of voice, intonation, subtle cues in conversation – none of that translates via email. There is also no back and forth. An email conversation is staccato… “Can I get this?” “Yes/No.” You may see a short blurb on the reasoning behind the answer but the follow-up question of ‘why?’ or ‘is there something else we could do instead?’ is so hard to handle over email.
The biggest reason that I think person to person communication is necessary is relationship building. I believe that you can significantly improve your standing in any business dealing when you take the time to really get to know someone and go out of your way to have a direct conversation. Even telling people why you want to talk to them instead of email has value. Letting people know that you want to know more about them or better understand their position and that email is not a good way to achieve that says a great deal about you. So I ask that you take some time and analyze your reasoning the next time that you reflexively say that you’ll email someone. I am willing to bet that a five-minute phone call will actually save you more time, create more goodwill and teach you more about you and them than any email exchange can.
As a professional Amazon seller, and trainer of thousands, I am willing to work directly with a select few to help you start, or expand, a professional Amazon business. You can find out more and schedule call to actually talk on the phone, by CLICKING HERE.