August 21st, 2007 10:42 EST
The Personal TouchWhen you are growing your business, you must remember how much customers appreciate the personal touch. Business owners who are extremely busy – particularly new business owners – frequently fall down in the area of staying in touch with their customers. I'm guilty of this, too. The fastest and easiest way us to communicate nowadays is e-mail, and although e-mail is a brilliant and incredibly useful tool, it is frequently abused and misused.
In my opinion, the purpose of e-mail is to send brief notes conveying information that, while important or useful, would cause more disruption if communicated via a telephone call than it’s worth. E-mail is also extremely useful for communicating the same message to a large number of people. But I frequently see lengthy and explanatory e-mails, and these are, perhaps, not an asset to your communication efforts.
There are several problems with relying on e-mail as your primary source of communication. First, it's impersonal. There is little true relationship-building through e-mail. Second, e-mail is a "face lift" form of communication. What I mean by this is that many users of e-mail are more aggressive at their keyboards than they would be if they were sitting across the table or speaking on the phone. I've seen arguments unfold in which chains of e-mails go around, a form of electronic finger pointing that rarely resolves problems.
It's akin to gun violence in the United States. A gun is an easy thing to fire. All you have to do is pull the trigger and the damage is done. Ugly as this discussion is, many criminals prefer guns because they’re so easy to use. Don't use e-mail this way. It will not advance your business, and it can potentially cause significant damage.
So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you're building your career,, be sure to develop relationships with customers. Be personal. Pick up the phone or take people out to lunch. That's the old fashion way, but it works, and many of us still prefer this "high-touch" way of doing business.
About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit www.joelblock.com or www.growth-logic.com.