With technology improving by the day and more of us spending ever longer glued to our phones and iPads, it’s become all too easy to sit at our desks and tap away on our keyboards. But actually, you have to ask yourself whether this is the most effective way to communicate when you’re in business? 

It has been said that face to face meetings are far more effective as a method of closing business than remote forms of communication. The late Steve Jobs encouraged workspace design at Apple to encourage in-person interactions and research by Harvard Medical School indicates that working in close proximity with colleagues produces higher quality research. Google serves its employees free food in cafeterias, in part to encourage them to stay on campus and mingle with their co-workers over lunch. We wouldn’t go as far as Yahoo did when it banned remote working. Yet we continue to fall back on our faithful devices preferring to send out emails rather that meet over a coffee.

Dana Carney, an assistant professor of management at University of California, Berkeley says it’s easier to mislead via technology. “When you’re close to someone face-to-face, they’re real to you and it’s harder to do bad things, to lie to them,” she said. “The more distance we have from someone, the more likely we are to make decisions in a cold, purely cognitive way.”   Unlike the old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder, when it comes to communicating, distance doesn’t make it grow fonder, but harder – less caring and colder.

The humble phone call has lost its way a bit in recent times and yet it can be far more efficient than engaging in an email conversation. Next time you’re trying to arrange a meeting, pick up the phone! Not only will this be far quicker than waiting for a response, then having to go to and fro with dates before finally committing something to the diary, but it will also give you the opportunity to have a chat, all of which goes towards building that relationship.

Coffee shops are the new office

Meetings no longer have to take place within the constraints of the four walls of the office, take advantage by arranging a meeting at a coffee shop. The more relaxed atmosphere is perfect for having a good chat and getting to know someone better. Most places have Wi-Fi if you need it and let’s face it, people love a frothy cappuccino and a sneaky croissant, capitalise on this opportunity to build on that relationship by treating a good contact or potential client!

Go on be brave. If there is something you genuinely want to say, good chance is there is someone who genuinely needs to hear it… via talk, not text.

For more help on improving your business’ interactions with clients, or for help to find out what your clients want from your relationship and how they feel about the service they receive, please get in touch.

 

Stats from:
News Week
Forbes
Harvard Magazine