My client said, “Why can’t I see you.” The reason he couldn’t see me is rather simple. I called him from my cellular phone, and I was driving the through Starbucks. The phone was on the seat next to me. He expected to see me because I called him over Skype, and we almost exclusively use video as our preferred method of communication.
Your cellular phone may be the greatest communication tool ever invented. Look at all your choices.
Phone Calls: You can use your cellular phone to call your clients and speak with them directly. It’s hard to remember that it’s really a phone when it offers so many other methods to communicate.
Video Conference: Your smart phone allows you to video conference, making your communication even more real and more personal. Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts all work well, and many of your clients are already using video internally.
Text Message: I have one client who loves to text. No matter where he is or what he is doing, he can communicate and give direction. It also requires short answers. More and more, I have clients who are using text messages to communicate.
Email: You’re never away from your email, are you? And neither are your clients. You’ve seen them check their smart phones while you’ve been in meetings with, haven’t you? Email works—and you know your client or prospects gets your message immediately.
Social Media: I tweet direct messages to clients. Some clients tweet or DM me. I have clients who send messages through Facebook, and sometimes LinkedIn. All of these can be done from your smart phone. It’s a great little social media toolbox.
But it’s a phone. And soon it will be more.
If You Don’t Like the Telephone
Some salespeople, mostly younger, prefer email to the telephone. They prefer text messaging to email. They live on social media. And the next generation won’t know a world without the Internet or social media.
The phone is a different form of communication. There is no backspace or delete button. You can’t go back over your words to correct them. You have to deal with what comes at you, and you are alone to deal with it. You need real chops. Some salespeople are uncomfortable with the phone.
I Want to See You
If you don’t like the phone, you’re going to hate what comes next. We’re going to video.
The cost and availability of video is now the price of using a cellular phone. More and more, your clients are going to expect you to be on their screen, looking them in eyes, and speaking with them directly.
We’re (still) human. We (still) prefer face to face communication. Your clients want to see you. Get ready.