I have been spending a good amount of time lately talking to people on the phone. Using a program I have to reach potential clients, my calendar is filled each week with phone appointments with people I have never spoken to before. The calls last from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the conversation.
It suddenly occurred to me that I was thoroughly enjoying these conversations even though they didn’t all turn out to be clients…people in various locations throughout the U.S., with different professions and certainly distinct goals for themselves personally and professionally. The expression, “everyone has a story” could not be truer. Everyone DOES have a story and engaging via Facebook, Twitter, Email, LinkedIn, Text, etc. really does not convey the story in the same way as actually talking to someone. This probably is not an earth-shattering revelation to anyone; however, we are becoming so accustomed to other forms of communicating, I wonder if talking may actually make a comeback.
I am a digital marketer. I love social media and use it for business and personally. I love that I can stay connected to old friends and continually make new ones, even if only on a social media platforms. For business, social media, when used correctly, can expand our reach without limitations of geography. It can, and I believe does, help us build a better world and foster communication which leads to tolerance and acceptance of our differences.
What social media does not do is give us that connection with another person that happens through talking. Hearing a voice is so much more powerful. Yes, we use Skype, Zoom and other platforms to speak and see the other person. I think that’s fantastic even if it does take away from just listening to someone’s voice over the phone. The telephone is an amazing invention. I remember getting my own Princess phone as a teenager, pink I think it was. Long long hours on the phone with friends and boyfriends. When we see the person on our camera that does make it more like being in the room with them. We look at their face, their clothes, their surroundings and do not focus as much on their voice and their words.
For so many of us in business, talking on the phone has become a burden, something to avoid at all costs. Robocalls, constant sales calls for this and that makes the phone a burden as opposed to a means to really LISTEN to someone. We let it all go to voice mail and then we often don’t check our voice mail. Focusing all our attention on someone’s unique voice and what they are saying to us requires us to Stop doing ten other things and Focus. I like it.
I am now excited to see my calendar each day, look that person up on LinkedIn (where the appointments are coming from) and then just focus on our chat. Listening, learning and sharing with someone new. I have even gone so far as to call an old friend instead of Facebooking or texting. Hearing their voice is awesome. They are usually surprised and very pleased that I called versus some other silent form of communication.
Talk is not cheap, it takes our time and our focus. It is valuable and part of the bonds we form with people. The adage “talk is cheap” obviously refers to saying something versus doing it, honoring your word. I would say now, texting and email are cheap. Speaking to someone is personal, persuasive and in this day, becoming all too rare.
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