I was doing my usual Saturday morning ritual of getting gas for the truck and running errands when I noticed two old metal payphone poles sitting there right by the pumps. I immediately had a flashback to the days when the payphone was a key element of communicating with the world in my professional life. You may think payphones have gone the way of the Dodo Bird but you would be wrong! Do you know where they still are being used? The only place they are still around is in airports and bus terminals. I had a friend that use to have a business where he placed payphones in business and gas stations for years all over the state of Georgia. He was doing very well… Until that fatal moment when the cell phone took over almost overnight.
Indulge me for a moment as I share a flashback from my past. As a young salesman right out of college I use to find the bestest phone booths in my territory to make calls from because I needed to make calls during what I referred to as the Dr. Pepper hours (10-2-4) to reach prospects and to call the headquarters office for my perceived “very important messages”. I remember having to make sure I had enough quarters to make calls all day long, each day. Now I know many of you reading this will not remember those days but those that do can relate to how those rainy days also made it so “special” talking with customers during a lightning storm. Those were the days for sure, weren’t they? LOL!!
I mention these things to bring to mind something I realized while I was putting gas into my truck that struck me as very odd in that an actual dial-tone phone is possibly nowhere to be found today. When the cell phone was introduced that it was only estimated to have approximately one million users in the US primarily. Boy did someone get that wrong! Now, I can’t think of anyone today I know or meet that doesn’t have at least “one” cell phone device of some shape or kind within their reach, 24/7. I am curious, have you ever been more than 5 feet from your cell phone, …ever?
As I was pumping my gas I was startled by an incoming text message. The message was from one of my friends I was meeting later that needed to ask a quick question. Oh! Did I mention I got an email from my oldest son just wanting to check in with his Dad shortly after that? Wait a minute! I have this very fancy, expensive “talking into” communication device in my hand called a “smartphone” and I didn’t say a word to either one of them. I remember the days when they both would have picked up an actual dial-tone phone and would have called me to actually talk to me. You know, hear my voice! Mmm… What is really going on here?
Where have all the phone calls gone? I use to enjoy them so much? With technology, the Internet, email, voice mail, texting, messaging, cable TV, and the fact we can now control how we get information, things have surely gotten better, right? Let’s be real for a moment! The cell/smartphone device has become the remote control of our lives. Where is that personal interaction in our very lives we all want and crave gone?
I will never forget when one of my kids got his first cell phone and was texting to one of his friends that were, actually sitting next to him. I saw that and just shook my head in disbelief. It got real when the bill came for that first month and he had 2317 texts messages in a single month (roughly 77 texts a day). I want to know just how someone can do that? Then I looked at the charge for those texts and it was over $185+ in “texting” and not to mention fees on top of everything else, just for him! Wait! What!! Did I mention that he actually had a phone service that both inbound and outbound calls were working on his phone? I know, I checked! Needless to say, his plan was changed immediately. Now he has unlimited texting for free and he pays for his phone. Whew! Yes, he actually calls me much more than he texts me now. LOL!
I say all of that to make this point. When was the last time you actually heard the voice of a loved one on your phone or even carried on a lengthy phone conversation with one of your customers about their business needs and struggles you can help them solve? Like you, your customers, believe it or not, actually want to hear from you! I mean they want to hear your voice. Go ahead, say it, you actually want to hear their voice as well don’t you?
Here is what happens when you talk with them. You get to hear the tone in their voice that leads to a clear understanding of how you can better help them reach their dreams and goals so they can thrive. Your text messages and emails just can’t do that.
So I want you to do something for me right now, not later, right now! Get out your To-Do List and add the following to your action items for the day!
- I Will Call My Biggest Client to just check in to see how things are going. They will love to hear your voice and will know you care about them and their success. If they are shocked you called promise you will call more!
- I Will Call My Favorite Client just to catch up on how their business is progressing and share some growth options with them for free. Your voice will add emotions and feelings so they will know you actually want to help.
- I Will Call My Mom! Don’t go, “UGH!” I mean it, call her now! She wants to hear from you. Well then, if not your mother, then call your dad, your spouse, significant other, brother, sister, and any one of your friends you haven’t talk to in a while. Just call! They all want to hear what you have to say from the heart, not in a text or a cold email to them!
Now you have the “latest top-secret” business edge you could use this year to grow your business and thrive over your competition. I assure you this newest/oldest competitive advantage is something your competition isn’t doing – a phone call! Come to think of it, I have to call a new client to onboard them for their Fast-Track Growth Accelerator on the phone. So grab your smartphone right now and call the next prospect on your list or a customer and let them hear how much you can and how much you want to help them succeed.
Can I ask a favor? If you want to reach out to me or ask me a question, just call me at 404.425.9573! I actually prefer to hear your voice! Thanks and subscribe for more Marketing Made Great moments!