In the 80’s we had telephones, the mail, fax machines, and face to face. All that has changed now. The ways to communicate with another person have exploded . The old ways still work, but now we have email, instant messages, texting, Twitter, Skype and so on. Wow, it can be overwhelming to consider what ways one should use.
Here’s what I recommend, have about 10 different ways you feel comfortable with so you’re not hitting people the same old way. Email may be your favorite way to contact someone, but what if the other party gets too much email already? In that case your email’s likely to be ignored.
What you can do alternatively is to send them a Facebook or LinkedIn message, or maybe a text. Indeed, they might prefer one of these methods. The fact is they’re more likely to respond if you communicate with them the way they prefer.
So, then, what if the other party likes social networking as a way of staying in touch and you don’t do that? Well, you could pick it up just to communicate with them. For the right person it might be worth it. You don’t have to become a full-blown social networker, but just a casual user for the right times.
Now we’ve only talked about 1to1 communication. What about mass communication? Email marketing and Facebook are great for that. Prefer direct mail? I like SendOutCards, which allows me to send a lot of personalized real cards all at once – very useful and a blend of modern and old fashioned methods.
I’ll just mention one more method here and that’s BLD marketing. What’s that you say? It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, of course. Many deals are closed during meals. I make it a point to take out all my clients to lunch as often as possible. They really appreciate it and we have a chance to get to know each other better without the clock running. I like to meet prospects over meals or coffee, too. People are generally looser when they’re in a social atmosphere. The conversation seems to flow more naturally than in a quiet office. If you’re not using BLD marketing, then maybe you should read Keith Ferrazzi’s now classic book on the subject, Never Eat Alone.
The last point I’ll make is that there is what I call ‘disruptive communication’. What I mean by that is you get a message to someone in an unexpected way and that disrupts them and makes them take notice. For example, you stop by their office and leave a note and, if allowed, small gift. That will get their attention more than an email. Facebook messages can be disruptive, too, since few people get many of these. Texts are disruptive and are being used more and more for marketing purposes. Use a form of disruptive communication when you’re having trouble breaking through to someone. Don’t just keep sending emails.
If you’d like the handout I used for this talk as a checklist to see just how many communication methods you’ve got in your quiver and what you might want to add, just email me and I’ll send it over to you. And if you have a favorite disruptive form of communication I’d like to hear about it. Please comment below.