There’s still no substitute for a handwritten note, and a face-to-face conversation is still more powerful than an e-mail. Here are four ways to revive old-school ways of building relationships in the business world:
1. Pick up the phone. When dealing with someone new, call him. It “attaches your voice to future e-mails and texts,” writes Baron C. Hanson of the RedBaron Consulting firm on SmartBlog. And it helps “install rationality in the relationship going forward.”
2. Mail a handwritten note, especially if it’s to congratulate or thank someone. Everyone knows how powerful a handwritten note is, yet hardly a soul sends one. Pick up some classic stationery and start writing notes.
3. Go see someone. Even if it’s merely a five-minute visit, meeting someone face-to-face will build trust. “Face-to-face meetings also prevent people from judging each other by their e-mail signature or web site photo,” Hanson says.
4. Give relevant gifts, especially books. Gifts need not be expensive, just thoughtful. It shows you remember what they’re interested in. “Gourmet olive oil, rare-batch wines or international sports memorabilia are also examples of modest gifts that reach out personally,” Hanson says.