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Please Pick Up The Phone

February 14th, 2019

Woman on the phone

Technology is a wonderful thing. In fact, without it we wouldn’t have the business that we have today. We use it to capture and edit the photos that we take. Without technology the process of Dye Sublimation that we use to put pictures and names on a variety of products like dry erase boards, coffee mugs and key tags wouldn’t exist. Contracts arrive in your inbox in a matter of minutes instead of the days or even weeks associated with what is now sometimes referred to as “snail mail.” Our world has also gotten so much smaller in the age of technology. With programs like Skype and Facebook, we can connect with families and friends not only around the country but also across the globe. Technology is a wonderful thing.

However, from my perspective there are a number of issues with technology. First, it is incredibly unnerving to look up something on the web and then start seeing those products or the companies that provide those products popping up as you use the Internet. Or even creepier is when you’re talking to someone about doing something, perhaps doing your bathroom over, and you see faucets and replacement tiles start to pop up as you scroll your favorite platform and you think to yourself, was my phone listening? Our data, that we have so foolishly allowed to be shared and sold is now all over the place and privacy is a thing of the past. Second, we spend hours scrolling through other people’s social media feeds instead of living our own lives. With all this so-called connectivity we are actually becoming more disconnected as texts, posts, stories and emails have taken the place of actually talking to people.

It is this second subject that I want to talk about today because it has taken me a long time to get used to doing business with people that I’ve never spoken to. When everything, start to finish, is done via email it not only takes so much more time, it’s a lot more work. On occasion it is fine, with the events that we’ve done before or with clients I know well, but at other times, it’s a bit maddening. It is not uncommon for a booked event to have a string of 10 or 15 emails in order to take it from a list of questions to a confirmed date. Not to mention the amount of time said emails take with the back and forth.  It would be so much easier if we just had one, maybe two, phone conversations. 

The ease of doing business is not the only reason to pick up the phone. For me the phone is a great way to get to know the other person as well as figuring out what they truly need.  A client might have a certain program in mind when they call but after speaking with them and getting to know their event and their budget, often I can recommend another program that will work better or be less expensive. At the very least, I can give them options they might not have been thinking about. Booking an event is a process and cutting out the opinion or advice of the event planner is not the best idea.  This is one place that email doesn’t quite get that job done. Not to mention you get a lot more out of me if you give me a call.

Several of my clients know that I am a “phone guy.” This doesn’t mean that we don’t exchange emails. They know if they are trying to flush out an event, trying to decide if something is a good or bad idea, or looking for some creative help for their event, they pick up the phone. Some also know that when we get to the 3rdor 4themail exchange, their phone is about to ring. It is amazing how much quicker things get done when you are actually talking to the other person. Yesterday, a client called with a question about Roller Rinks and Foam Parties, two events we don’t do. Our conversation lasted for 20 minutes as we talked about vendors she could use (yes, I gave her their names and numbers) along with liability issues and how this type of event may be received on campus. It was a very enlightening conversation and I hope they were much more prepared for their event and the conversation with the company that I referred them to.   

Due to my love of the phone, I have been referred to as a dinosaur and we all know what happened to them. Keep in mind, however, that bees, crocodiles, sharks and lobsters in some form have been alive since the dinos roamed the Earth, so I’m optimistic that the telephone is not going extinct any time soon.  So, before you email that long list of questions to someone, think about having a real conversation. It’s more efficient, promotes real connectivity and you may even make a friend.  As for me, I’m always available to answer any of your questions – 781-436-3187 Ken Abrahams – Pick up the phone!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Posted in the category Off the Rack.

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