Recently I'm feeling more and more disturbed by people who are calling me - not in the office but in my personal life. I mean people like friends, parents or aquaintances, I know it sounds weird but somehow I feel violated in my free time and most of the times do not even answer - I call back when it fits my schedule, although it can take minutes (up to to days - if it's not urgent) for me to call back.
Why is that? Well, I think it has something to do with Social Media.
Do you remember the time when "SMS" was a thing and all the kids were doing it and how it transformed the way we treated emails more like chats and everything became more informal? Then came the smartphone and made us all addicted to it. Seriously, just look around you on the street, in the tram or on the bus. So there is definitely over-stimulation of our senses. Less and less people are actually calling each other on the phone, in fact I observed a trend in sending voice messages instead of calling - using apps like WhatsApp or Snapchat.
And when I think about it - I'm used to chat with 2-4 different people at the same time, that usually does not happen on the phone. In addition, even when you are using a headset, your ears and senses are dulled and typing and browsing leads to such a poor listening experience that you probably hate it more than you think.
But calling somebody is still useful, right?
Well, in my opinion it strongly connects to your specific reason and the other person's attitude towards it. For example, sales. It still probably the dominant form of communication within this area as well as in recruiting. Talking on the phone can be key to convince someone to take action, they have to talk and give reasons and tend to be much more open and friendly, compared to just ignoring and deleting your spam mail or message on LinkedIn. Talking can bond people together and help build trust, which is still THE major factor for buying from you and not from anyone else.
The reason we call it "smart"-phone.
So, I can understand when people protest and say "I've been calling people for generations and made millions out of it, so I don't care about all this Social Media hype". Which is totally fine, when you are successful and done this decades, you probably do not need to change. But there are other ways as well, especially if you embrace technology and want to grow disproportionately - speaking about growth hacking (especially for marketers). But let's stay with the example of sales people here.
Over are the days: "Here is my card, give me a call". Today you don't have to wait for someone to call you - you take out your smartphone and network on the spot: "Hey, let's connect on LinkedIn! Do you have a Twitter account, what's your Twitter-handle?" you don't even have to use email anymore - you can seek people out an contact them directly via Twitter. It's so much faster, more personal and overall more effective than cold calling or suprise visits.
"Smart" in the modern world means connected - not just to the internet but to people, and that is the key for success.
Today it's not about the sale - it's about loyalty, trust and commitment. I love to work with people that I know on a personal level and that I can trust - this is the basic ecosystem we run on today. Use your smartphone to your advantage and get involved.
It's so easy to talk to people around the globe - you don't have to be in New York anymore to connect with people that live there - you follow them on Instagram and just chat with them.
Especially when you are a small business owner, you can use all those different services on your smartphone to increase awareness - sharing stylized pictures on Instagram of your product, live-streaming on Periscope or simply tweeting and commenting on Twitter using popular Hashtags. Fortunately today, everything is scaleable.
How do you use your smartphone for business? I don't mean for cheking mails, but for developing business. Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!