NEWS FLASH! I can tell when I am number 345 on your database, even though you begin your email with my first name… “Hi Mike!”
Please do not get me wrong. I have all the toys and I love playing with them. I am the first one to check my emails while exiting an airplane and sending the latest gizmo whammy by FTP up to my website. But after reading this article again, I think that I am going to sit right down and write somebody a letter, with a pen… on paper and stick it in an envelope… and write from my heart… and lick the stamp myself.
I bet that it will take more time than I am used to taking, but I am also betting that I will feel good sticking it in a mailbox knowing that some live human being, with a mail bag slung over their shoulder, will be delivering my message in person.
Wanna hear more…?
As I question the balance between high-tech and high-touch, I am probably going to show my age. To end the guessing game right out of the blocks, I will give you a hint. On the year I was born, a gallon of gas cost 17 cents and the Dow Jones Average was a whopping 179. Average income was $2,959 and the price of a new car was $1,420. Perhaps a more poignant reference is the fact that I remember the days when to change television stations (there were six of them in the NYC area) required getting up off the couch.
But, before you place me on the wrong side of the argument, I am one of the savvier techno geeks in the business. Sure there are many who know more, but there are lots more out there who know and understand less.
I have a question for you. When was the last time you had trouble reading a handwritten letter? I am betting that you cannot remember. Not that this adds or subtracts to the message in this article. I was just wondering. Do you even remember what the word penmanship means?
I have always preached the importance of keeping things real… living in reality. And today reality is built on bits and bites and movement and change and ups and downs, in and outs and “yins and yangs.” I am not suggesting that we live in yesterday’s world. Life today is what it is. Fast, and totally dependent upon technology. The scary part is that those in the know have bluntly reminded us that we have not seen anything yet. Now this my friends, is a spooky thought in and of itself.
How did we survive without email? Or the cell phone? Or autoresponders? Call forwarding? Voicemail? Beepers? The Internet? iPods? Cable TV? XM Radio? Blackberries? Wireless Hot Spots? Game Boys? Or on-line dating services? All fun stuff. Did I forget to mention GPS? How did we find our cousin’s house without it?
Slowly, but surely, we have fallen into the technology trap. We may be getting our communications out fast and furious, but at the high price of failing to actually communicate. Have we sacrificed meaning for speed? Thanks to the wonders of technology, we may be multi-tasking ourselves right out of business. And, this is not what we should be striving for.
So, in the interest of delivering a timely message, I want to caution you and ask you to slow down long enough to think what you are doing as far as technology goes. How is your grasp of bits and bites affecting your relationships with your customers and prospects? Are they embracing and cherishing the relationship? Or are you simply screaming at your customer, “Hey what’s-your-name, I’m talking to you. I am techno-savvy and I am way ahead of the curve!”
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.