As a Boomer, my career started when the coolest thing in the office was a fax machine and the telephone answering machine. I remembered when I first started working we had little pink notepads that said “While You Were Out, Look Who Called.” The assistant (or secretaries by some) would line up those messages in a little plastic filing case that sat on their desk with your name typed out and pasted below. Relationship building was very different back then. (We used to drink alcohol heavily during lunch and that was was considered OK.) I had one sales job where I had to call people and invite myself to their offices to show them some great ideas of how my product (radio advertising) would help make them money. I showed up in my little suit, pumps and pantyhose (and that leather brief case) and have printed copies of a proposal that I would leave behind. I would then send them a handwritten note thanking them for their time. Then I followed up with phone calls each week and even a drop-by leaving little gifts. In 1994, fax machines and e-mail rocked our worlds. It certainly was easier to e-mail someone and make my case versus making that damned cold call.
Technology has changed everything. Gone are the days we simply seek new business. Now it’s all about engaging and growing social communities and having clever and professionally-designed e-mails. We check our e-mail while on vacation. (Hell…some companies even give you unlimited vacation because they know you are working 24/7.) We cross our fingers that our customers will share our e-mails and like our Facebook pages. I know this frustrates us because our business success is beginning to depend on this. Yes, you need to use digital marketing to promote your businesses. We all know that already. But some of us aren’t doing anything “old school” at all anymore. We have completely lost any sort of physical contact. Nothing beats face-to-face. Nothing beats a voice to your gorgeous face. You have to get “undigital” to make that digital stuff pay off. And using offline tools can actually help your online activity become even more productive.
A true story of this idea in action.
A family member has ADHD. I went online searching for an ADHD coach for myself and I found one ImpactADHD.com (women owned). I went to their website , signed up for the e-mail list for more information. I got a welcome letter immediately. A couple of days later, another automated email about their services as well as an invite for an introductory webinar. I clicked on that webinar invite for more information but my phone rang and I just forgot to sign up for it. A week later, more automated e-mail nurture flow. And of course, every time I went on Facebook their little ad popped up. Yet, I did nothing. I didn’t sign up, call-in or e-mail. AND I WAS INTERESTED. About a week ago, my phone rang at around 6:30pm., “Hi Wendi this is Elaine from Impact ADHD.com. I wanted to check in with you and see how things are doing and tell you more about our program.” We had a great chat, and guess what? She closed the deal. I signed up immediately! Her little personal “old school “outreach made a huge difference. She became human and her pitch to me went well beyond what an e-mail or a social post could have ever accomplished. I went on to tell her my background in digital marketing and how impressed I was that she took the time to not only use the e-mail reporting analytics (every e-mail service provider will have that) but also to do something a lot of entrepreneurs don’t do….pick up the phone and close the sale! She had the data right there and knew I was interested because I was opening her e-mails and, more importantly, I was clicking on her call to action links for more information, etc! That is the definition of an interested prospect.
So, send out that e-mail, plan out your social media strategy, write that blog…but build in your personal touches too! Pick up the phone call someone on their birthday instead of just posting. Going“old school” will make a difference!