There are a lot of ways to connect today, here are three that are king!

When you think about it there are so many ways to "connect" with other people today. I mean right now, today in 2018. Phones, Email, Chat, Text, Social Media... the list goes on. Of course, there are many, many more ways than just those! (When is the last time you mailed a postcard? ... many more!)

In reality, most of the time many of the current methods create a surface connection and not a deep or meaningful connection with another person. Meaningful connection is created by communication. Two-way, good quality communication. Shared thoughts, shared goals, and common interests. Where two or more people have and exchange information, and there is actually listening involved. You see, the quality of communication at its core is defined by the receiver. It is NOT determined by the person pushing the info out. So to have a real quality exchange, we have to talk or share, then listen to how the person receiving it understood it. Then continue...

Communication and connection is not a one-sided exchange... because then that wouldn't be an exchange would it?

So given my opinions on connection and communication here are three good ways to connect with others.

1. TEXT

It's no surprise. The reason I am a fan; because... so is EVERY... SINGLE... PERSON on earth right now. Texting is quick, it's accessible and can easily communicate a brief thought or idea. People read texts. 98% of texts get opened. So, if you want to push communication to where the eyeballs are. Text people. The other advantage here - people can read texts and respond on their own time. People do not care about when you WANT them to respond. They want to get back to you when THEY have the time to. The flaw, texting represents as little as 7% of our communication, the verbiage, it is only words on a screen. It doesn't bring all the other components like voice tone, eye contact, and body language together. The goal for me of any text is to let people respond when they want and work to migrate them to a method where they can hear or see the congruence of who I am.

2. VIDEO

Video communication is awesome. It lets people connect the body language and voice tone and all the other areas of your communication of WHO YOU ARE before they SEE who you are (in person). Video through things like Facebook, SnapChat, YouTube, video email, and many other platforms are so accessible right now - there is no reason that you should not be incorporating this into a corporate or business model. The reason that more people don't do video engagement right now... because they are scared. They are scared and maybe embarrassed of how they may look on camera, what they might say, or that they may say something "dumb." Well, my advice would be to go ahead and give it a shot because I would suggest you take the chance - practice,drill, rehearse until you can get it right and if you mess up on the video you can delete BEFORE you send it.

3. PHONE

I still love the phone. I think it's a great method to engage people. Remember the older AT&T commercials, "Reach out and touch someone!" The best thing about the phone is that it brings into play what you say, and also HOW you say it, the person on the other end can begin a genuine connection and feel like they start to know you. The phone is more personal than text, and it doesn't take as much time (most of the time) as creating a video. Often, with the phone people can get lazy or they develop "phone reluctance," where they are scared to call because they have been denied, hung up on or yelled at. Well, get over it - as much as 85% of your communication can be relayed through verbiage and voice tone over the phone and in most cases, if you are in sales, the goal is to graduate from one of your other methods of communication (text, email, DM, etc) - to the phone, to then in person! The single biggest key to phone communication...  when people call back, you have to pick it up and answer the call!

These methods are all simple, solid, and have a good return, especially for those of us in sales!

Yes, I know there are many other great ways to communicate. You may ask, "Mike, what about social media." And yes, I am a huge proponent for just about all social platforms. But, as for connection... there is a LOT of NOISE out there in the social environment. People are talking about other relationships, political views and other things that are not really fun connection points. And on most social networks you get a version of the person, and it may or not be who they really are once you start connecting on a more personal level.

What other methods are you using to communicate with your friends, family and customers or clients? Do you have something that you are doing that works awesome for you that is maybe outside the norm? If you do, feel free to "reach out and touch someone" by leaving it in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!