It used to be that if you wanted to engage with your customers and potential customers, you had to be physically in front of them, or at least speaking with them on the telephone regularly. The level of contact varied by industry and proximity, but nonetheless, people knew the folks they were doing business with much more intimately than they often do today.
Think about the people you conducted business with whom you no longer interact with because the services they offered can be accomplished digitally. Think about the actual reduction in the number of conversations you have with people each day…by that I don’t mean your friends and family, although texting has probably taken a hefty toll on the quantity of conversations you’re having in that realm as well.
One thing that hasn’t changed is there seems to be more competition than ever, particularly in industries where (physical) distance is no longer the impediment that it once was, due to the capabilities of the Internet. Thus, it’s imperative that you stand out as an entity, with an identity that people appreciate doing business with.
So what can you do to ensure that you remain effectively connected with your customers? Start by picking up the telephone and catching up with them on how their business is progressing and how you can become a better partner. Then, when possible, visit them at their location to gain an even deeper appreciation for the battles they’re fighting each day and the opportunities they’re seeing on the horizon.
Besides the relationship-building positives that will arise from making the effort, you’ll be amazed and refreshed at how it helps sharpen your understanding of your own business and how you can improve and grow.