No, not the app.
Real face time, as in one-on-one interactions with employees, consumers, vendors and business associates. Not via skype, go to meeting, google hang outs or ooVoo…just old-fashioned human connection.
Even in the digital age, the most effective marking strategies involve direct contact with prospective consumers. In fact, word of mouth continues to be one of the most reliable lead sources, responsible for 20-50% of new business.
There is some irony to the fact that the simplest of things – talking to another person without electronic assistance- is often what we have the least amount of time for. It is far too easy for hours of our lives to pass by as we remain hunkered down at our computer, glassy eyed, surrounded by empty water bottles and coffee cups, realizing we haven’t uttered a spoken word in hours. Okay, so maybe that’s just me right now. But odds are good that you’ve been there, too.
While it can seem tremendously inefficient to invest an hour with one person when you can reach out to thousands with a tweet that takes less than a minute to type, personal interaction is about quality, not quantity. And although you may have a tremendous product or service to offer, people still like to do business with people. They also like to refer you to their friends. Or as we say in New England, ‘I know a guy who knows a guy’.
- That professional luncheon you can’t possibly get to? Make time for it.
- The special events and conferences you don’t have time to attend? Attend them.
- The vendors who interrupt your work with promises of new and exciting technology? Talk to them and learn something new.
- And on the biz dev front: think about how you might offer some new knowledge to your target audience, and hold an info session or workshop. Sure, record it and put in online. But hold it with a bunch of people who are interested in what you have to say. You’ll build your brand and develop consumers with a meaningful connection to what you have to offer.
A healthy balance between electronics and human-tronics (OK, I just made that up) can help us remember that digital leads are human after all.