Business relationships and technology

Brad McMullan,

There are 35 million more cellphones than there are people in the US. You might even have two cell phones with you right now—a work cell and a personal cell.

Every prospect of yours has a cellphone in their pocket. And as soon as you realize the scope of that reach, you can make money by making good use of that reach.

What I think is so special about technology, though, is not just the wide access. Technology helps businesses build better relationships with their clients. People communicate with each other on their phones all the time—shouldn’t your business do that too?


If you’re going to connect with people, you’ve got to meet them where they are. Businesses are often reluctant to use texting and apps to reach their clients, but the reach is incredible when they do. Texting is the number one form of communication in every county in Oklahoma and in every state in the US.

Text messages are perceived as much more urgent than emails (so they’re read more often than emails), and they reach people on the phones they often have within arm’s reach at all times. Texting is simply a very effective way to connect consumers with your business.

In Jackson, Mississippi, The Salvation Army was able to quadruple their giving by using texting. Or think about a school. Schools can create texting lists just like email lists to let parents know about severe weather precautions or any kind of emergency situation, and parents will be much more likely to read a quick text about it than an email.

Mobile Apps

The number one form of information today is mobile apps. On average, Americans spend 198 minutes a day on mobile apps on their phone. There are 1.5 million apps in the world right now, which have been downloaded 25 million times.

The world is mobile now, and either you’ll go mobile with it or watch as other people do. The Uber service model, for example, would have completely failed on so many platforms. But when they created an app, they were able to become a 50 billion dollar company.

Last year, Forbes researched iPhone and iPhone users’ activities and found that 86% of the time their devices were on, they were using mobile apps. That’s 1.5 million apps competing for 86% of device usage, compared to billions of websites competing for the 14% left over. Which odds do you prefer?

There’s tremendous opportunity in apps to reach your clients where they already are. And when others share your app, you have the benefit of a personal recommendation combined with the speed and convenience of technology. It’s a win-win.

Technology as a connector

What’s the first thing you hear on a plane when you land? It used to be the clicking of seat belts as people were impatiently getting up to stretch their legs or get their carry-ons. But now, it’s the buzzing of cellphones as people are turning them on as soon as they’re allowed to. It’s so important to consider mobile apps and texting in order to reach people where they are.

Technology is a great connector. I feel so fortunate that in my business, we get to help connect people for a living. We get to help them build relationships.

There used to be pretty reasonable excuses for businesses not to get on board with new technology—I don’t understand it, it’s not affordable, it won’t reach my target market—but those aren’t really excuses anymore. Everyone has cell phones. Texting and apps are affordable ways to reach almost anyone.

The real question isn’t if you’ll use technology. It’s how you’ll use it, and who you’ll be able to reach with it.

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