Before mobile phones, telephones were wired to a place – a home, a office, a store. If you wanted to speak with someone you called the place where you expected them to be. Now that most people have cell phones we call the person.
Moving from place to person is a paradigm shift.
Today, it is one phone per person rather than a phone for a group of people at a place. Growing up, when the phone rang I raced my brothers to answer it hoping that it was one of my friends calling. The only thing better than beating them to the phone, was when they beat me to the phone and it was my friend calling for me!
Phoning is now individualized. This makes it easy to reach someone – if you know their number. If you don’t know it, you can’t call them. Knowing the place where they might be doesn’t help much anymore.
People Have Many “Numbers”
A similar shift has taken place in our other communication as well. Because there are so many more communication channels, like e-mail, text messaging, Skype, WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. People are not gathered at a place. You’ve got to reach them individually.
Advertising and marketing have been up-ended. Previously if you wanted to offer information to people you advertised on the television shows they watched or in magazines they read. These days, you if you know their “number” you can contact them directly.
The most valuable “number” for marketing is the e-mail address someone give you with permission to contact them. You can contact them directly, straight to their email browser, with no one in the middle of the relationship.
Having 800 Facebook friends or 1000 Twitter followers may sound great, but it is similar to advertising in a magazine. People may notice your post or they may not. But the scary part is that you don’t control if that message gets delivered or not. A year ago Facebook greatly reduced how many of your followers they will allow to see your messages. Facebook wants you to pay them to show your message in your follower’s feed.
Use the “Number” They Prefer
I receive requests for training proposals via e-mail, phone, Facebook messaging, and even text messages. I usually send the proposal by e-mail. But occasionally, a person continues to communicate by one of these other methods. It’s me that has to adjust.
People now expect a much more individualized approach to communication. They want it delivered through their preferred method – to the person not just the place.
Question: What are you doing to get people’s “numbers” and personalize communicate with them? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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