It may be more than 20 years since Bob Hoskins delivered the killer line “It’s good to talk” for BT’s hugely successful advertising campaign, but even in this digital age of email, text and social media there is still no substitute for a good old-fashioned chin wag, especially when it comes to business.
BT certainly struck a chord with their 90’s campaign, which delivered the company an incremental £5 billion over the five years it ran, and whilst the technology has moved on the sentiment remains relevant today.
PR and marketing is all about communicating, telling stories and conveying messages. Whilst much of this can be done via e-mail and social media it’s essential that we talk too! The days of the AbFab-style PR lunches may be long gone, but we do still need to make time to have conversations and face-to-face meetings to ensure we build and maintain solid relationships.
Whatever business you’re in, it’s all about developing relationships, and a winky face or smiley on an e-mail or text is just not the same as sharing a joke over the phone or chatting about weekend plans over lunch. This may seem time consuming but it is time worth spending to get to know your clients and key stakeholders.
Winning new business relies on personal connection and there is no substitute for those initial meetings and conversations with a prospective client, where you can often tell within minutes whether the person and business is a good ‘fit’, with good old intuition and ‘gut feeling’ playing a part.
If you’ve ever sent a text or email to the wrong person, with your heart sinking the second after you’ve pressed send, then you know how easy it is to get communication wrong. Also irony, sarcasm and banter don’t travel well over e-mail and comments can be taken the wrong way. To be sure you’re getting your point (and personality) across properly hit the call button.
Let’s face, it we would all be completely lost without email and and it definitely has an essential place in working life, but it shouldn’t replace conversation, rather enhance and confirm it. Social media is also a fantastic tool that is fast becoming another essential communication business tool, but behind every like, share and follow is a person.
A quote shared on LinkedIn sums up why making this personal connection is so important in business: “People do business with people because they choose to, not because they have to. We can always find others doing the same thing or selling the same product.”
The reason you stand out may just be because you picked up the phone and decided it was ‘good to talk’.
If you fancy a good old fashioned chat about how I might be able to help your business communicate better, call 07824 643088.
Jane Icke is an Account Director at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln and is based at the company’s new Nottingham office. Jane specialises in delivering strategic media relations campaigns to meet client objectives, developing concise copy, sharp opinion and newsworthy editorial to gain exposure.