Face Time: Not the Apple “i” Product
Regardless of your business, industry, or personality, we are all, at the end of the day, in the people business. The people business runs on knowing your customers, clients, and co-workers. That is, knowing that their children are seniors in high school, that their son just got married or even that they just changed their hairstyle. Technology is ever present and has never been so important, but while technology enhances and increases efficiency, creativity, and productivity, it does not get deals done or make business happen. Face time is vital for laying the foundation for a long lasting relationship.
Last month’s newsletter discussed the new interconnected and efficient workplace. In addition to cost savings, the idea of designing a more efficient and connected work environment is to create an element of buzz, of interaction, of face time. This trend in office design is also technology driven to allow for Skype, WebEx, and other communication technologies. According to René Shimada Siegel of Inc.com, these technologies “are convenient and create the illusion we’re actually having a meeting — but nothing beats the power of a truly personal, face-to-face connection.”
As a tenant representation firm, for Rich Commercial Realty face time in a client’s office is invaluable. Rather than simply understanding the basic infrastructure needs of your office and employees, we are able to delve into deeper questions and pick up cues. How is your location really working for you? What is your short, medium, and long-term real estate strategy? Is the landlord maintaining the exterior and interior common areas? What is the first impression of your lobby and reception? Is your office layout and design leading to increased productivity? Is there a lack of storage? None of these questions could be adequately understood or projected via an email, text, or Skype call.
According to well cited research by Dr. Albert Mehrabian:
- 7% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.
- 38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
- 55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression.
These statistics conclude that though there are many ways to communicate your message, and likely a combination of face time and technology is ideal, face time remains the most effective form of communication. René Shimada Siegel sums it up well by concluding, “I love new technologies that allow me communicate with others more freely and quickly. But as a business owner, I try to remember customers want to work with someone they can relate to, not just buy from.”