Since my son recently left for college, this question means a lot more to me today than ever before.
Think about it. When’s the last time you got an actual telephone call from someone – just to say hi? No “ask” and no “offer”…just genuine interest in you and what you’re up to.
It’s like getting a handwritten letter in the mail. Whaaaat? (For anyone under 25, we actually used to do this!)
The impact is so huge, why don’t we do this more often? It’s so easy to just type and shoot off that email or text, pffghh…why call?
But I’m guessing if you randomly called 10 people today that you’ve worked with in the past (just to say ‘hi’ and give them something), you would make their day.
Coming from someone who’s third child is her phone…I know how hard it can be to slow down and feel a deep connection with someone on a cell phone, or in person just while having the cell phone VISIBLE. Yep, that actually makes a difference. Check this out this research study I found:
[Summary] Studies done at the University of Essex show that cell phones can negatively affect how we engage with others face-to-face. Pairs of strangers were asked to discuss a personal topic in a room that contained a desk with a book and a second item on it. They reported a lower quality of interaction when the second item was a cell phone. A follow-up experiment showed that they felt less trust and empathy when the topic was meaningful and a cell phone was in the room.
I know, I know. This day in age it’s almost impossible to not have a cell phone in a room. But we CAN remember the humanity we had before technology took over our lives. THAT’S what will make you stand out.
So, if you’re face-to-face, make it a tech-free zone and focus all your attention on the wonderful homo-sapien sitting across from you.
If you’re virtual for the day, remember back to what getting a friendly phone call was like – the person calling actually wanted to talk to you! Make someone’s day with a friendly call, offer them something of value, and then don’t ask for a thing (they’ll be waiting for the ask!).
That’s the key to building client relationships that last a lifetime. And oh – one last thing…call your mom.
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