In a High Tech world – Don’t be afraid to be a little Low Tech
A short time ago I found myself emailing a new client multiple times a day about some creative we had delivered. There were tons of notes, revisions and the usual back and forth. When we finally checked all the boxes and got the collateral in tip-top shape, the emails stopped. I picked up the phone after not hearing back for a few days and spoke to the client. I said to her,
"Hi _________. I hope you are well. I know we were emailing daily back and forth for a few weeks and I enjoyed our regular contact. I haven’t heard back from you about the recent delivery and I just wanted to make sure it was up to your standards and that all came out great. We loved working on it for you guys and I just wanted to make sure we hit the target."
The phone went silent for a few seconds. Then she said,
“I can’t remember the last time anyone had taken time to call and follow up.”
It turns out that they were very pleased with our work but they were too slammed to email back. I found out in the last few days this particular client is expanding their scope of work with my shop.
I made a list below of some low tech and hopefully intuitive ideas for how to stay fresh in an overly cluttered world:
Pick up the Phone and Call
Pick up the phone and talk to your client. They will appreciate it. Now I’m not saying to call them for everything. I am not even saying to call them often. But a few choice phone calls here and there will be well received.
Have as many of these as possible. I know it’s hard to get people in the same room as we all have busy schedules these days. But if you can arrange it, I find these meetings to be the most impactful. You get to see client reactions live and in person, and having that connection with them through ‘face-time’ beats out any Skype call I have ever been on.
Never Text Message your Client
I am often guilty of this one – just due to sheer lack of time or a super busy delivery schedule. But I really am conscious of this and it’s always best not to send a text.
Jot Down Notes with a Pen and Pad
Having your client understand that you care enough to write down their feedback with a pen and paper is powerful. I often reinforce a client’s request by jotting down carefully what they have said in front of them. This also helps whenever there is a dispute of what was or wasn’t said. The proof is in the pudding because you wrote it down. Often times when people are on their computers in a meeting – secretly, I begin to wonder if they are on Facebook or emailing friends their weekend plans.
Shake Hands Firmly
And look people square in the eye. This is especially important when meeting someone for the first time.
Talk Less and Listen More
It’s really amazing how the power of silence bolsters your ability to listen. Sometimes we don’t listen as we are too busy waiting to speak. I find that some of the most important meetings I lead or request – I end up listening far more than I talk. It’s OK to set up an agenda and hit some key topics – but let others speak too.
Tell People you Appreciate them in Person
Don’t be afraid to tell someone that they are appreciated for a job well done. Too often this is done over email or via a text. Or worst yet – not done at all. This is far too important to be done in any other way but personally. Ultimately, the relationship that you have between a client and your shop and between your shop and it’s staff is key to maintaining and expanding your business.
Go to an Industry Event
Get out there and shake some hands. It’s important to see your professional community in person on a regular basis. Find clubs or organizations that are aligned to your cause. These are great ways to network and meet people with common goals.
Carry Business Cards
I know this one is old school. But it still works so make sure you have an updated business card that is in continuity with the rest of the business cards from your staff at the shop.
I’m sure that this list is just the tip of the iceberg. But in an overly complex world that is getting more and more integrated each day, it is human interactions that we hunger for. Try a few of the above mentioned and come up with some yourself -- drop me a line anytime to share your thoughts.
Nir Bashan is an executive creative director with over 16 years of advertising, entertainment and business development experience. He writes on topics covering advertising, media, creative solutions and workforce management. http://www.nirbashan.com/blog | firstname.lastname@example.org