Technology makes it easy to speed through and around sincerity. Be warned. I can tell when I am just number 345 on your database even though you begin your email with my first name … Hi Mike!
Please do not get me wrong. I have all the toys and I love playing with them. I am the first one to check my emails while exiting the plane and sending the latest gizmo whammy by FTP up to my website. But, after reading this article again, I also think that I am going to sit right down and write somebody a letter, with a pen … on paper and stick it in an envelope … and write from my heart … and lick the stamp myself.
I bet that it will take more time than I am used to taking, but I am also betting that I will feel good sticking it in a mailbox knowing that some live human being, with a mail bag slung over their shoulder, will be delivering my message in person.
As I question the balance between high tech and high touch, I am probably going to show my age. To end the guessing game right out of the blocks, I will give you a hint. On the year I was born, a gallon of gas cost 17 cents and the Dow Jones Average was a whopping 179. Average income was $2,959 and the price of a new car was $1,420. And perhaps a more poignant reference is the fact that I remember the days when to change television stations (there were six of them in the NYC area) required getting up off the couch.
But before you place me on the wrong side of the argument, I am one of the more savvy techno geeks in the business. Sure, there are many who know more, but there are lots more out there who know and understand less.
I have a question for you. When was the last time you had trouble reading a handwritten letter? I am betting that you cannot remember. Not that this adds or subtracts to the message in this article. I was just wondering. Do you even remember the word penmanship?
I have always preached the importance of living in reality. And today reality is built on bits and bites and movement and change and ups and downs, in and outs and yin and yang. I am not suggesting that we live in yesterdays world. Life today is what it is. Fast. And totally dependent upon technology. And the scary part is that those in the know have bluntly stated that we have not seen anything yet. Now this, my friends, is a spooky thought.
How did we survive without email? Or the cell phone? Or autoresponders? Call forwarding? Voice mail? Beepers? The Internet? iPods, iPads and iPhones? Cable TV? XM Radio? Or on-line dating services? All fun stuff.
Slowly but surely, we have fallen into the technology trap. We may be getting our communications out fast and furious, but at the high price of failing to actually communicate. Have we sacrificed meaning for speed? Thanks to the wonders of technology, we may be multi-tasking ourselves right out of business. And this is not what we should be striving for.
So in the interest of delivering a timely message, I want to caution you and ask you to slow down long enough to think what you are doing as far as technology goes. How is your grasp of bits and bites affecting your relationships with your customers and prospects? Are they enhancing and enriching the relationship? Or are they simply screaming at the customer, Hey, I am techno savvy and way ahead of the curve!
I am reminded of a very simple analogy. Most people give solid credit to dogs, believing that a dog can actually tell when a human is frightened of it. I believe this as well. But what most people fail to realize is that most people have the same built in capability when it comes to reading other people. I know when I am important to you and when I have your attention. I can tell when your words ring true and your efforts are sincere. I can tell when you and I are on the same page.
Author Mike Marchev