I like to keep my blog articles positive and hopefully inspiring. But there may be no happy spin to put on the reality of how people act these days. I am referring to potential clients and the way they communicate. Or don’t…..
A happier time: Back in the 80’s and 90’s the phone rang, I would pick it up. Yes, people actually used phones back then to make calls. They would have a two way conversation. Anyway, the phone rang. I would pick it up and say hello. The client would announce their intention to get more information and possibly schedule a meeting. The meeting would be set and the date recorded in a log for our meeting. Done! Easy!
A not so happy time: Welcome to 2019. No one calls anymore. Well, a few do but they are in the minority. Most potential clients e-mail, thus eliminating the need for human interaction. They only want to get what they want and not waste any effort in the process. This is the unfortunate result of technology and the “smart-phone” generation. People have become accustomed to getting immediate answers and fulfillment of their wishes. Thankyou Amazon! They want it now daddy! So you better get back to them right away or you will be passed over.
However, once they get what they want from you and you have completed your usefulness to them you are ignored as if you don’t exist. In other words….. silence. Silence has become an answer here in 2019.
How many times will a potential client contact you for information and then ignore you in your followup attempts? It seems that today’s potential client uses silence as their answer. “Not interested!” I know that after a initial contact I will followup…..and then followup…. and then followup. And rather than simply contacting me with a polite message stating that they are all set….. SILENCE! They assume if you get enough silence you will eventually go away. Silence has become their communication.
I know, such a negative message I bring here for discussion but there is a bright end to this rain storm. Change is inevitable and the way people interact with you will change and change again. Today’s successful business person recognizes trends and learns to speak the language their potential clients speak. If they are not speaking to you, find ways to get a conversation stated. If they want to text you, don’t ask them to call, text back. If they want to use an app, stay in the app with them. Have a introduction that gets their attention and makes them want to followup with you. Learn how to stand out!
Always followup but don’t spam or overwhelm. Find the sweet spot. Most importantly, don’t give up until you know that giving up is the only course of action. Today, just before I composed this blog article I was successful in booking a wedding for a couple who I met with back in August of 2018. Today is March 4, 2019. I stayed in contact with that couple for almost 9 months and I was finally rewarded with a booking for their wedding October 2020. Yes, that’s a extreme example of followup but I made notes with every conversation and determined that I was not harassing them and that follow up could be fruitful.
The unfortunate truth is that people today hide behind technology and lack good public communication skills. Just observe a younger couple out to dinner and both on their smart phones in hand. Yet, a older couple in the booth next to them is engaged in a eye to eye conversation. Dare I say, people are rude in general and lack standard polite educate. We can dedicate a whole other blog article about Millennials. Don’t get me started!
The point I hope you will consider is that when dealing with people today response should be immediate, followup should be appropriate and it is essential to speak your client’s language. Even if it is foreign to you. Learn to identify the sound of silence and find your own way to make noise.
“Here’s to your success!” – Mike