The Oxford English dictionary definition of the word communication is as follows. “The imparting and exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other form of the medium”.
It doesn’t sound like it should be a hard thing to do, so why is it so hard for some people to do this?
As an example! An inbound business enquiry came into the office. The potential customer found us via a recommendation, good news so far! They ask all the right questions and understood what it is that we do at Hessian Coffee. Also they understand how we could support their business and arranged a meeting within 48 hours of the call. Another piece of positivity! This is going great. Diary re-arranged, meeting planned, preparation done as scheduled to taste 3 different coffees. Time was allocated to re-iterate the conversation we had on the phone allowing us to bond face to face ensuring all their needs are discussed and met. All good and positive wouldn’t you say!
The Big Day Arrives
Big day arrives. Introductions, the coffee tasting goes well, we share knowledge of what we know and what they expect. I ran through the equipment Hessian Coffee can offer, including how we have free barista training for our customers. I also explained our range of freshly roasted espresso beans and filter coffee. We discussed how we do more than coffee with syrups, takeaway cups, award winning teas. Also I let them know we offer next day delivery, 30-day credit, competitive pricing. This is all good once again, so I leave the meeting feeling positive on the all-round good day being had.
As I was leaving I mentioned to the prospective customer I would follow up that afternoon with an email outlining the meeting and the meeting notes. Hessian would commit to what we can do and how we can move forwards. I put a trace on the email to ensure it goes to the correct person and that it is received. Pretty damn good first impressions in my book I feel.
It all goes wrong
Now this is where it goes wrong. A couple of days later not having heard anything, I re-send the email (which I know was received). Once again with a trace on, and once again picked up. Naturally we are all busy people and guess they had forgotten to reply initially, these things happen.
Leaving it a couple of days and still nothing I give them a call on the mobile. Guess what happens, sent straight to voicemail so I leave a positive message. Giving it what I consider appropriate time I give it a couple of days and try again. Once again sent to voicemail.
Where I struggle is at what point do you give up and put it down to arrogance? Surely basic politeness is not hard and its one of the only things in life that is free.
You win some
You win some and you lose some. I understand that and that is not the problem. If you can understand why you have won or lost then this helps us as a business and as an individual to grow, I get it.
The thing I don’t get is the whole lack of communication thing. Surely a one line email, text or heaven forbid returning the phone calls and saying sorry I am not interested at the moment. Or sorry I didn’t like your shoes, I would be content with anything!
So to finish up, I bring you back to the above dictionary definition because I assume that the “or using some other form of the medium” is NOT referring to telepathy!
I will end this by saying; “Let’s not be afraid to communicate”.