The speed of change in the online world of communications is staggering. Do you remember the first mobile phones and car phones? They were two foot high and weighed half a ton.
Then came emails, which revolutionised the way we communicated, followed by Facebook, You-Tube, Twitter, smart phone apps, smart TV and a raft of clever, time-saving social media applications.
But let’s just take a couple of minutes to raise a glass to the communication channel that worked for Fred Flintstone and has done us proud for thousands of years.
Face-to-face meetings remain hard to beat.
Vision – you can see smiles, frustration, anger, happiness, concern, warnings, alerts, love and hate
Body language – open and relaxed, closed and guarded; distracted, disinterested, disengaged; hot and bothered or cool as a cucumber; selling signals or “time to go” signals
Voice – upbeat, downbeat; nervous, guarded; chatty or tight-lipped;
A quality face-to-face meeting gives you an immediate snapshot of where you are in respect of your relationship with the client or prospect. It allows time for small talk, time for personal interaction, time to build and develop that relationship. After all, we buy people before we buy their services or products.
Can you see all these issues in an email exchange? No.
We fire off emails at such speed that we do not always realise how our words might be interpreted – or misinterpreted. There have been numerous occasions when I read too much into somebody else’s hastily sent email. Guess how I resolve it? I fix a meeting to check everything is fine and dandy.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting turning the clock back and ignoring modern communication methods. That would be crazy. I am urging you to remember the importance of human interaction.
I find new business by getting out and about and talking to people at networking events, sporting events, charity gigs and so on. These relationships are a long-term investment. It might take a couple of years before a company boss needs my services. It might be never. But this is not wasted time. It is my perfect chance to show them that Cobb PR is an honest and sincere company that treats all its clients with respect.
And how do I demonstrate that? Using Stone-Age communications, of course. Long live Fred Flintstone.