Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"The Six Ways To Be Reached And To Connect With Others"

If we are going to build our aging in place business (consulting, contracting, health services, or other), people need to be able to connect with us and to contact us. Even if we are relying just on referrals, people (those requesting our services or referring professionals) need to be able to contact us. Without that interaction, nothing can happen.

To make the connection and then to take it to its legitimate conclusion, there are six basic ways to reach us and for us in turn to reach out to others (prospective clients or potential strategic partners).

The one that has worked for decades is the letter. People have waited as long as a month a few centuries ago for a letter to cross the Atlantic or otherwise get to its destination. The Pony Express, stagecoaches, airmail, and special delivery sped up the process until we had to have things delivered overnight - or even couriered across town in a few hours. Postcards also have played a part when the message didn't need to be very long.

Second is the personal contact where someone physically visits our place of business - home, office, showroom, warehouse, or facility. In order for this to occur we must have one. If we are just using and promoting a post office box, no one can drop in on us or plan a visit. Not everyone needs such a visible office - and there is nothing wrong with a home office if its appropriate - but a physical location is helpful for people coming to see us. Aside from that, there are places to meet for coffee and discussion.

Third is similar to the first - and one hardly used anymore. It is the electronic letter in the form of a fax. When we want to deliver a hard copy to someone that they can hold in their hand and read right away - albeit not always of the highest quality - a fax can do.

Fourth is similar to the fax and has replaced it in most cases. It is the email. We literally can be talking with someone on the phone, request a document, and have it arrive within seconds so we can discuss it almost seamlessly. Older clients may not have access to computers so this form of communication is not going to be universally used.

Fifth is the text message. Some people use and prefer this over the spoken word and texting will be their main form of communication. Some people are very good at composing and typing their thoughts, some aren't as accomplished. Some are very quick at typing their ideas.

Finally, there is the telephone - once the land line and not primarily the cell or mobile phone. In fact, it takes the cell phone to be able to accomplish a text (mentioned in the previous paragraph). The main thing about the telephone is that it needs to be answered unless it is inconvenient or impolite (in a meeting or conference for instance) or at least be committed to returning messages dependably.  

There are many other ways to connect with us - social media, our website, and advertising being three of them - but these default to the primary six for people to reach us after they receive our message, read our profile, or want to respond to our call to action.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.