So many of us are guilty of compartmentalizing our lives. We try and make sure that each area fits into its own little crate.
I believe that this is what makes it so difficult to truly understand what drives each consumer to do what he/she does. We go through different seasons of our lives and while relationships are important we are all very busy people. Ultimately, we get caught up in our own lives. And, before you know it we haven't followed up on that sales lead, or connected with that person we met or perhaps haven't returned an email to a customer, friend, and colleague or soccer coach. Yes, we all wear so many hats and serve in so many different roles.
Well, time flies.
Especially, if we aren't actively managing our marketing communications. And, then guess what? We have become too embarrassed to follow up, to connect, or to reply. Or at least I have.
How do we keep up with our relationships?
It's tough in the busy world we live in. People don't have hours to IM, hang out on the phone or write long emails. And, I'm sorry Facebook, Instagram and Twitter just can't substitute for a meaningful conversation (for more on this subject see my blog dated 10/6/2016).
For me, keeping up means sending thoughtful hand-written notes, text messages that are immediate plus relevant, and special gifts for notable occasions. I also reach out and request a "catch up" call, making sure to build it around the convenience of both schedules (sometimes it's after hours) but it's a scheduled and purposeful conversation. These calls are valuable because you really find out what is going on in that person's world. You're able to ask spontaneous and stimulating questions that are relevant to the topic at hand. These discussions allow you to get caught up with friends (who if you have been around a while like me) they are your past clients, prospective customers, other parents; and, you always learn something new from them. Somewhere in the call there is a mutual opportunity that sparks for more collaboration for follow up in the future.
Open, free flowing conversations allow true spontaneous sharing. It helps each of us to keep up with the other. And, it ultimately keeps our relationships up-to-date and going. So, when we feel the urge to compartmentalization the relationship. Stop. We need to challenge ourselves. Have the conversations and don’t put yourself in a crate.
I'm always surprised what I find out. I bet you will be too.
Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges. Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands.
Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.