How can you be sure your messages are really getting heard? Noted business consultant, Michael Hammer, once said, “The number one problem in communications today is the illusion that it has taken place!” You may find that no matter what you do or how you do it, just sending messaging in any format does not guarantee you will actually get through to actually connect.
In a “normal” world, people are constantly barraged with multiple interruptions on every level, whether it is their being notified on their phone, an instant message, and even their watch! It’s these constant notifications that fracture not only their time but steal their attention away from your attempts to communicate. The challenge is: What else can you do to be heard?
In this unprecedented time of physical “distancing”, there is remarkable creativity that is born from being restricted. It is proving that what we really want, and need, is social connection.
The most prolific tool available is a phone call!
Our world was slammed to a hard stop as the virus health event invaded our own personal world, skipping through continents from all over the world as we know it.
Although the restriction has been harsh and, in many cases, devastating, the hidden opportunities are abundant.
It took a total world “halt” to make us pay attention to how much we crave human connection. Phone conversations do perform the connection, but when it is only your phone, you can feel a “gap” between what we experience in a real physical social connection and the void that occurs with only digital connection,
It took this massive interruption to uncover new and creative ways to connect with the appropriate social distancing that drives the human spirit to reach out and connect with total strangers. From joining together to sing from balconies to performing calisthenics led by a person we don’t know on a nearby rooftop to entire apartment buildings, people want to reach out to others. If for no other reason, this is social proof that people do want to hear from you, and how you disseminate that message in a very noisy media-laden environment is the challenge.
This is the perfect time for real leadership.
Our job as professionals in any industry is to engage in a more personal way to connect when that customer or prospect reaches out for our services.
Technology is our secret weapon to profile our services and position our readiness to help. Platforms like automated responses are convenient and run 24/7, but that’s just the onboarding. Consider ramping up a notch! It’s time to get up close and a bit more personal and relevant to make connections that stand apart from the rest.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. It’s time to take that phone and reach out to connect. Checking in with your Top50/VIP clients and customers just to find out if they are okay or need anything you can help provide will impact long after this current crisis subsides. People will always remember how you treated them, reached out, and checked on their wellbeing without asking for any business.
To be effective, consider a 30-day plan for contacting your inner circle and then in the next block of 30 days expand to a broader segment of your database/sphere of influence. Even if you don’t make a connection and leave a voicemail, the energy is still out there. Your thoughtful and authentic follow-up to intentionally check in on their wellbeing is pivotal. The phone still works, especially with most people more available to take calls. If you are hesitant to call and need a format to follow, the tried and true FORD script (Family, Opportunities, Recreation, Dreams) is a great fit.
2. It’s showtime! Want to ramp up tired old emails from dull to dynamic? Consider sending a video email. Platforms that send a personal short video of you via phone or text is a sure way to get a differentiated connection. The viewer enjoys a heightened experience by not only hearing your message but seeing you deliver it simply and easily through their phone or computer.
Platforms that are easy and economical are available. Video Wizard Michael Krisa and shares great tips to help those camera-shy types make great videos with confidence and value. One of Michael’s favorites is QuickPage.io/one. It is easy to use and allows you to attach documents, images, and more. Check it out and remember that shorter is better! If you absolutely don’t like the video you just recorded, the delete button is right there for you to do take #2 or more.
3. Use Snail Mail. The art of a handwritten note packs a real punch that arrives after that phone call days later. You don’t have to be an author to say, “Thanks for taking my call – reach out whenever we can help. We’re happy to be a resource for your needs.” Send a handwritten note to each person with whom you’ve made a connection to really drive home your authentic care and concern. The key is if you can’t get face to face, then think video face to face followed up with a thank you. This can be the quickest bridge to building relationships that produce more sales and deepen relationships.
4. Internalize your 30-day plan into a new habit! When you follow a comprehensive, value-laden plan for connection, you are on your way to taking more prospects to profits.