Email, text messages, and social media are a fact of life. They are all important tools and can be an effect part of your communication strategy. However, you must guard against devaluing your relationships through automation and pure electronic contact. Let’s face it; we are all guilty of devaluing relationships through automation and electronic communication. It’s easy to do. We set up autoresponders, use technology to leave messages instead of directly connecting. Many people have automated campaigns that take the person almost completely out of the process. While this may improve efficiency, it doesn’t do much in the way of showing people how much you value them and their business.
Think of it, in an effort to remain and keep connected, we are distancing ourselves. It’s not hard to see, go to any restaurant or coffee shop and look. Everyone is in their phone searching email, texting, looking online, but very few people are actually talking with the people they are with! It’s become crazy! We are devaluing the relationships we say we are serving by diluting ourselves and our message electronically!
I am a firm believer in automation. I think there are plenty of times that certain things can and should be automated. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that we are in a relationship business and that if we don’t personally engage, we don’t have much of a relationship! It is important in the world of electronic communication to be certain you integrate personal contact and maintain that personal connection!
So take a good look at your systems. A certain degree of automation is fine; but be sure you have a series of personal contacts built in to your system or be prepared to lose your relationships to someone who will! Absence does make the heart grow fonder; it grows fonder of someone else! If you want to maintain and nurture your relationships, you have to provide personal attention. You can’t be too busy to provide personal attention to your relationships!
Make it part of your business life to identify your critical relationships and build in that personal connection. Breakfast meetings, lunch & learns, coffees, happy hours, even a day at the movies or the ballpark can help provide time and that personal connection that many people are letting slip away.
Once again I am not anti-automation. I am strongly opposed to the lack of the personal connection! If we don’t place a priority on our personal relationships; if we aren’t prepared to invest our time in our people; if we are going to let automation and electronic communication replace the personal phone call, the hand written note, the handshake, the personal time we commit to those we are committed to serving, then we aren’t really committing ourselves to the relationship.
When it comes to relationships, there is no replacing personal attention! Schedule the personal touch in every relationship!
- When do we speak live?
- When was the last time we met?
- When did we last share a meal?
- Send a handwritten note instead of an email!
- Schedule the time for each relationship!
You can’t take “YOU” out of “YOUR” relationships. If you do, that relationship will soon belong to someone else!
Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com
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