This past week, I was having a conversation with my oldest son who will be beginning his first year of law school in the fall. He was explaining to me all of the things he was doing to prepare for this transition in his life as a result of me riding his butt to get this stuff done. It was either prepare for law school or get a real job. Many of his efforts in either regard require him to go to some website and submit some type of information on line. It seems that the more he does on line… the more questions it generates in his brain about this new chapter in his life. Many of these questions seem to find their way back to me and while it may come as a surprise to some… I do not have all the answers. During one of these exchanges, I finally asked him the question… ”Have you picked up your iPhone and called the school, asked the questions and had a conversation with someone about this?” I believe his response was… Huh? To make a long story short… he did make the phone call and got answers to his questions plus he learned a bunch more information that will be useful to him in his new endeavor. It really made me think. Just pick up the phone and call somebody. How simple.
More and more frequently these days I come across articles that speak in reference to the seemingly lost art/skill of communication. In the high tech world we find ourselves, a new gizmo or application http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/paxil_generic.html seems to be forthcoming every week, if not daily, that facilitates the transfer of information between us as human beings and specifically, business people, and the companies we represent.
If the past couple of years in an extremely challenging economic environment have taught us anything at all about business, the importance of great customer relationships seems to stand out in my mind more than anything else. They are the one thing that seems to get us over more hurdles and obstacles than anything else. It is the common thread that weaves through every long-term business relationship. Someone within the organization owns the relationship and takes responsibility for it. Someone within the organization picks up the phone and calls somebody. With all the e-mail, text messaging, voicemail, Tweeting, Linked In and all the other forms of electronic communication that take place, it seem that picking up the phone and actually calling someone in an effort to have a business conversation is becoming more and more a lost art and/or skill. Technology certainly has its place in the business world and will continue to do so — for many good reasons. When it comes to generating new sales from new accounts and also generating new business from existing accounts, nothing takes the place of picking up the phone and calling your customer or prospect and having a conversation. It is the key ingredient to building the trust and confidence that is needed to build a long lasting and mutually beneficial business relationship.
~Russ Caudell, CFO
June 30, 2010