By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
Today, it is easier to reach people than ever before. Phone, text, email and social media connect us — telegraphs and homing pigeons just wouldn’t make due today. We are fortunate to be able to reach out and get the information we need almost instantly from our connections (as long as they respond). The Internet also gives us the opportunity to answer our own questions before we must connect with another human.
I start my workweek connecting with my social, professional, or commercial relationships, PR and ad agencies, manufacturers, distributors, associations, buying groups and marketing folk from all over the industry. These connections bring the information needed to create the magazine you are reading.
Most recently, our connectedness has focused on all the devices and social media that keep us in touch with each other and the world. And while this outstanding technology is amazing, there is no replacement for our one- on-one interaction that keeps us joined.
According to Linkedin, I am connected to 4,300+ people. I didn’t go to school with 4,300 people, so clearly it is easier today to reach out to others than in years past. In the 26 years that I have been the kitchen and bath industry, I’ve met tens of thousands of people, and though I couldn’t have kept in touch with many of them without technology, to me, being truly connected isn’t just through a data line or cell tower, it’s through face-to-face or verbal contact. We can have all the connections in the world but until you get the chance to interact with a person and get to know who they are, not just by the repost on Twitter or the joke on Facebook, it doesn’t really seem like a true connection.
This is one of the great advantages that the independent retailer has over the big box stores—you are able to connect in a real way with your customers, and they know that they aren’t just a name on your contact sheet. I know that I need to feel that myself.
Are we really connected to thousands of people or so we just have names on a contact sheet? That’s for each of us to answer and decide how we want to be connected.