Stop Typing

2014 will bring us more technological advancements, and more social media platforms and ways to communicate digitally. This is the golden age of digital communications. It is far easier to get information to someone now than ever before. You can text it, send a tweet, post on their Facebook page, IM them or even send an old fashioned email.

Now, if you want to go really retro you could call the person you are looking for and have a conversation with them. You can let them hear the expression in your voice as you answer questions or ask them things. Phone calls build a connection; one that many small business owners feel is being lost in the world of digital communications.

Emails, texts and tweets are a great way to pass information on, and most times will satisfy the need to communicate. However, picking up the phone and calling someone brings your relationship to a new level. No longer are you just an email address; you are now a person with a voice.

Think about this – how many emails do you get daily or weekly from someone you are a customer of? How many phone calls do you get from those same people? If everyone who emailed you called you, your day would be instantly busier and unproductive. However, if you take time to call just one supplier, and one customer a day instead of emailing them, imagine how that might positively impact your business.

Here are five reasons you should pick the phone up more in 2014.

You’ll Be More Proactive
By picking up the phone and just calling someone, you will not only cut out endless emails, but you may also gain more insight than you would from a phone call. That customer who emailed you about a new reel, might they also be interested in a new rod, or might they be interested in an upcoming sale you’re having? You won’t know this unless you talk to them.

In the same light, your supplier may be able to offer you a better deal if he or she knew exactly what you were looking for. They also have invaluable insight into what is selling and what isn’t. You too could gain this from a simple phone call.

You’ll Become Powerful
No, phone calls won’t make you a super human, but they will help you negotiate better. For years psychologists have studied the human voice and a change in pitch can tip a listener off to what is being unsaid. Instead of just emailing a supplier for their new rates, give them a call. You may hear more than they are saying and get a jump on a great deal.

You’ll Cut Confusion Out
The biggest problem many have with emails is not knowing the tone of the sender when they wrote what they wrote. Did he or she mean that in a rude way, was that their attempt at humor? In a textual form it is very hard to know, but when the same words are spoken and the tone of the person’s voice can convey their sincerity or their attempt to be funny the confusion is instantly removed. Also, you can ask for clarification instantly on the phone, instead of waiting minutes or hours for an email reply.

You’ll Show Your Investment
How important is each customer to your business? By calling one from time to time you will show them how important their business is to you. You’re taking the time out of your day to let them know an answer to their question, or to update them on the status of an order or a repair job. It may not take long for you to dial and make that call, but that little bit of investment on your part will pay off in repeat business.

Be Different
If for no other reason, calling will help set you apart from your competition. It will make you stand out in the crowd and show that you still care about communicating with a real person.

Emails can get lost, or sent to the wrong person without you ever knowing it. Posting on a person’s Facebook page or tweeting them could let someone else know of a gift they may be receiving. By calling you show that you’re willing to go above and beyond.

Digital communications should never be ignored though. Following up a phone call with an email confirming what you spoke about is always a great business practice. Some days you will be too busy to call, or out fishing and you’ll be able to get away with an email just so you can enjoy a day off. This year, create a balance between real communication and digital communication and see the results in your business.