The list of phobias is as long and amusing as it is frightening. You’ve got your average, ordinary fears like fear of heights, confined spaces or spiders. You’ve got your funny fears like the fear of chicken, flowers, garlic or chopsticks. Then there’s the fear of opinions, ugliness or smells. I can relate. Can you?
The opposite of -phobia is -phile, which means “to love.” Thus this long digression brings us to the Word of the Week: Technophile: noun, one who has a love or enthusiasm for technology.
Is your company technophobic or technophilic? Have you embraced technology or do you avoid it? Are you willing to invest in it or do you wait until it breaks to repair or replace it? Do you know what’s available? Do you know the benefits? Do you know the risks? Do finances hold you back, or fear?
Some people find technology cold and impersonal, and it can be if you let it. But automated replenishment doesn’t have to replace lunch with your rep, and e-newsletters shouldn’t be substituted for a salesperson’s personal phone call.
How can you use technology to create a personal relationship with Ms. Jones? How about setting your software to alert you to call her a month after her visit? How about a reminder to send her a birthday card? How about a digital camera?
Carry the camera on the floor. Take pictures of Ms. Jones’ favorite frame, the fabric she loves, the matching accessories – and always ask if you can snap a picture of her cute kids. Get her email address and send her the images, along with a picture of her salesperson standing in front of your storefront. Send her digital image of your business card with contact information and a link to your web site. File her contact information to follow up later. Or, you could also buy a cheap little photo printer and print the pictures in the store.
Turn your phobias into philias and make friends with Ms. Jones at the same time. Unless she’s a selaphobiac, of course.