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The last time we spoke

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I have some clients who rely very heavily on texting. Their children have taught them how to do it, and now they use text messaging for business communications. It’s great when you need to send a quick note, and when you need a quick response, it’s better than email. I send text messages all the time.

I have some clients who love email. Some of them like it because it allows them to send something more in depth than a text. They can do it on their own time (unlike a phone call), and they have a record of the communication. Like almost everyone else’s, my inbox overflows with daily email.

But as convenient as these popular methods of communication are, they aren’t anywhere near as effective as a face-to-face meeting, video conference or telephone call (in that order). The more important the communication, the more important the medium.

There is something extra being communicated when you schedule a face-to-face meeting. The fact that you are willing to invest your time means you care enough to be present. There is no substitute for presence, especially when what you are discussing is important.

Look at a list of your existing clients. When was the last time you met face-to-face with the people you consider to be your most valuable relationships? When was the last time you “spoke” with your client? (Texting and emailing don’t count.)

When was the last time you invested your full attention in a conversation with the people who make up your most important relationships? Have you emailed something that would have been better delivered face-to-face (such as your pricing or proposal?)

Look at your client list and answer this question: When was the last time you spoke?

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go