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Just pick up the phone!

Does it matter if your team emails and messages clients rather than pick up the telephone and talk? Are social media and instant messaging enough to build business relationships? How many times have you tried calling someone only to get voicemail and a slow (or no) return call?

Expert and dedicated exponents of using the latest new tools for communication seem to emphasise the importance of reach, presence and followers as ways to build your business. Is it working and is it enough?

Too often I come across people who are more focused on their own convenience than that of their clients:

‘I only answer emails for an hour a day because it better suits my work pattern.’
‘I don’t take calls as they come in because it is too disruptive to what I am doing.’
‘I don’t have time to answer this call, they will call me back if it’s urgent.’

The focus is their own efficiency, time management and productivity – but are they too self-focused and missing the essence of building relationships with clients, colleagues and associates?

It would be an easy generalisation to point to millennials as the culprits. However I know plenty of generation X and baby boomers who are equally, if not more, guilty of using technology to hide away from talking to people. It seems we have constructed work environments so beholden to technology that we use even more of it to cope – a non-virtuous circle.

Most agree that better relationships make for better business outcomes, perhaps with the exception of simple transactions where someone trying to ‘relationship build’ feels gratuitous and unnecessary.

Are avoidance tactics a good way for you to build relationships? How long are some of your email ‘conversations’? How often are emails misunderstood or badly phrased leading to a poor outcome?

We all know it and we all do it. So how about making 2017 the year to get back on the phone to build real business opportunities, delight your clients and become more effective?

To begin a conversation on improving business performance don’t click here but pick up the phone and call 01276 858199 (if you get the answering machine I will call back – promise!)

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