We are truly living in a digital world, interconnected by technology and devices that give us 24/7 access to information, ideas, opinions and one another. Does that ability always translate to connecting with one another in a meaningful way? Maybe. But, maybe not.
As a legal marketer and business development coach, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t encourage, motivate and even badger my clients into taking advantage of today’s myriad technological resources. Social media and digital marketing allow us to communicate faster and more efficiently than ever before. Appropriate use of these technologies is not only an accepted business practice; it’s also an expected business practice in most industries.
This amount of connectivity also means that we are being overwhelmed, though. To help you understand the sheer amount of information we receive on a daily basis, here are some statistics compiled as part of a University of California-San Diego study.
- People are inundated every day with the equivalent of 34 Gb (gigabytes) of information.
- 34 Gb of information daily is a sufficient quantity to overload a standard laptop computer within a week.
- Through smartphones, computers, tablet devices, television, radio, newspapers, books, etc., people receive 23 words per second during a 12-hour period.
As you can see, we are completely inundated with information. Lucky for us, our brains filter out a good 80-plus percent of the “noise” before it hits our cerebral cortex.
If our interaction on social/digital media is a given – and it is – and our brains are doing us a favor by filtering out most of the information, how do we bridge the gap and stand out?
The solution? Get retro.
Believe it or not, business development activities occurred in the legal industry before the Internet or any technological devices were invented. It happened the old-fashioned way. Instead of always trying to stand out amongst all of the technological noise, consider taking a nostalgic approach.
Here are three tried-and-true business development tactics that you can use to stay fresh in your clients’ and prospects’ minds.
1. Send a Note
Send a handwritten note to a client or contact to congratulate them on a promotion, new position, award, etc. It’s so easy to get this type of information. If you are active on LinkedIn, the platform will send you a notice when a connection changes their status. It’s even delivered with a teed-up “form-type” congratulations notice. You can also scan the “On the Move” or “Movers and Shakers” section of your local business journal for daily or weekly notices.
However you get the information, take the time to pen a note with a personal message. This doesn’t happen very often today, so the recipient is more likely to pay attention to the message. In fact, I will often get a call from someone whom I’ve sent a note to and actually have a conversation to catch up.
2. Make a Call
That brings me to making a call or two occasionally. Take the time to speak with people whom you don’t regularly see in person. Reaching out in a more personal way really does perpetuate relationships and also gives you the chance to find out what’s going on in the other person’s world.
3. Pay a Visit
Finally, do plan a few personal visits with your clients and contacts each year. There is nothing like face-to-face time to ensure good client relations and build strong referral networks. This is time-consuming, but doesn’t have to happen as often as it did before the technological revolution. An annual in-person visit ensures our clients and contacts know that they are important to us and that we are interested in their business and lives.
We do have the best of both worlds today when it comes to staying in touch, as well as building and strengthening our professional networks. Take advantage of technology to stay connected, but don’t forget the tools and tactics from the past. It’s the personal touch that will keep you top of mind.