the symmetry advantage

talking shop.

Talking Shop is produced by Symmetry, a boutique print shop that delivers the results you need, when you need them.

Alexander Graham Bell. Where Are You Now That We Need You?

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Remember the phone? I don’t mean the mobile device that all of us carry in our pockets and bags connecting us via text and email as well as phone. No, I mean the old fashioned phone that does nothing more than let people (usually 2) conduct a conversation.

Have a phone conversation – why, it seems like a thing from the past. What with the voluminous amount of email that we get each day to the text messages that ping us with regularity it’s difficult to remember when making a phone call was pretty much the only thing that you could do if you wanted to communicate with someone.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love my technology as much as anyone and certainly enjoy the convenience that it affords all of us but sometimes I wish that more people would actually utilize the phone on their mobile device instead of relying on email and text messages.

There are many reasons for using the phone with more regularity. Here are a few:

Back and forth. Back and forth – the endless email thread. Yes, that’s what often occurs with email when the messages fly back and forth, back and forth, many times until a resolution is reached. I long for the days when questions could get answered with one phone call and we didn’t have to go back and forth multiple times when trying to schedule an appointment or get information or an answer. As fast as email can be sometimes the phone is faster.

Watch your tone. Emails can be very tricky. You can mean for your message to be informative and professional and it can be read as impersonal and rude. Or your friendly email can make you sound as if you are immature and flippant. Verbal communication is usually safer than written especially because you can modify your tone and your words simply by listening to the reaction that you are getting.

Personal touch. In this highly competitive and impersonal world in which we all live; the personal touch can often make the difference between being regarded as a “vendor” or as a trusted resource. Reaching out by phone is a valuable “touch point” in building and maintaining an ongoing relationship with clients and prospects as well as referral sources.

Too much email. Not enough calls. In business it’s important to stand apart from the competition. Most business people will get upwards of 100+ emails per day. Calls – not so much. Stand apart from your competition by connecting by phone and not hiding behind technology.

Email is forever. Not to get all James Bond on you but “email is forever.” Be careful of what you send in an email. It can’t get taken back and it can go viral very quickly.

It’s a shame. Verbal skills are going out the window and are being replaced by 140 characters and email communications complete with emojis to help get the message across.

But there’s a solution at hand. Schedule 30 or 60 minutes per day (okay less if you are totally swamped) and make some calls. Leave voice mail messages if need be and let people hear your voice. You’ll be surprised by the positive response evoked by your calls.

Perhaps AT&T said it best: “reach out and touch someone.”

Symmetry because printing isn’t always black and white.

Categories:  talking shop., Tools + Tips|Comments (2)|Permalink
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  1. Mitch York says:

    Amen! And while we’re at it, let’s bring the rotary phone back. The anticipation of talking to someone has been lost in the age of speed dial. The days when, on that last digit, you could hang up and not drunk dial your ex. You’re bringing back too many memories now….If you’re old enough you might remember the innocent past time, before television, telemarketers and scammers, when kids made “phony phone calls.” We used to call the local stationary store and ask, “do you have Sir Walter Raleigh [pipe tobacco] in a can?” If we got a yes, we’d say, “Well, let him out!” Thanks for the memories, Sharon.

    • Sharon Kleinberg says:

      How about the “phony phone” call where you said “is your refrigerator running” ” Well go catch it”. Love these memories.

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