Earlier this week, I celebrated my birthday. Given the current options for communication, it’s hard work having a birthday. I received birthday wishes from the following sources:
Text messages, some with emoji’s and some without
Emails both to my work and personal email addresses
Facebook posts (even though my birthday isn’t listed)
Radio (my friend, Rich Russo, has an amazing syndicated show called Anything, Anything)
And one old fashioned card delivered by the U.S. Postal Service
Luckily, I didn’t list my birthday on LinkedIn.
Because I appreciated each and every birthday wish, I tried to respond to each one individually and like I said, it was hard work.
In the past several weeks, I have had several conversations with clients regarding their preferred method of communication. I asked one client why she wasn’t responding to emails and she simply said that she gets too many so she answers only what’s absolutely crucial. She explained that if I want an answer, I should pick up the phone and call her. I wasn’t calling because I thought it would be a bother. Oops.
Another new client was being somewhat unresponsive, so I asked her if she preferred email, text, or calls. She told me that she didn’t like the deals we were discussing and promised to be responsive when the deals were better.
One client wants most of the communication via email, but I know if he doesn’t respond right away, I can get his attention via text.
And last, I have a friend who shall remain nameless (but might be the founder of The News Funnel) who changes his communication methods frequently. Some weeks it’s email, some weeks it’s text, but one thing is consistent: he NEVER answers the phone.
When I entered the business in 1998, I had to bring my own computer with me. Not everyone had email. Texting wasn’t popular until years later and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter weren’t invented yet. It was phone, fax, email, mail, or an actual face-to-face meeting as far as communication options.
Today, just keeping track of how everyone wants to receive their communication is a bit of a task, but as a service provider, it’s a crucial one. I have been known to joke that we are like Burger King whose motto for 40-years was, “Have it your way.” We try to give the clients what they want because if we don’t, someone else will.
As a young broker, you are probably more accustomed to different sources of communication having grown up with texts and emails from an early age. However, keep in mind, not everyone is as adept as you are. Know your audience and try to mirror your communication style to theirs.
For my birthday next year, I am wondering what other forms of birthday wishes will get added to the list above. In the meantime, if you want my attention, send me an email, give me a call, shoot me a text or anything else listed above. I aim to please.