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Time to start texting


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Remember the old days when you used to pass notes to friends or lovers? Those days are over. Forever.

Enter texting. It was huge in the rest of the world five years before Americans finally picked up on it. Now it has taken over here. It’s instant, one-to-one communication. It’s better and more certain to get through than any other communication medium.

Do you text?

One of my youngest employees sent me a text to tell me, “You’re definitely the oldest guy that texts me.”

My granddaughters text me.

My daughters text me.

My customers text me.

My vendors text me.

My employees text me.

My friends text me.

My answering service texts me.

Even the airlines text me about schedule changes and delays.

Not everyone texts – YET. Some people still have phones that have no keyboard. Oh, they will try to text. Their dialogue goes something like this. “A,B,C oh crap a 2.” And phone companies are still making out-of-date phones with 1-2-3 keypads. And worse, people actually buy them!

REALITY: Every kid on the planet texts. Some more than a hundred times a day. Kids will text while sitting across the table from one another. And they are fast. Thumbing at the speed of summer lightning.

As these kids enter the work force and increase their buying power, your business world will change. They’re going to text their bosses and the CEO. They’re going to make text sales calls. They’re going to text people they purchase from. AND they’re going to be great at it, and expect instant response from you – so you had better be great at texting, too.

I am hereby dubbing these young people the “Gen-Texters.” And I am trademarking that phrase as you read this. Unfortunately I have to e-mail my attorney because he doesn’t accept text trademark requests – probably because it would screw up his billing.

Texting takes time, and takes time to get used to, but once you do, addiction quickly sets in. I probably send 25-50 texts a day, and I’m probably on the low end of the texting scale.

If you don’t text, you’re turning a blind eye to society. A foolish one. And the OLDER you are, the more you should heed this. If you’re in your 30s or 40s, why would you not want to text your kids, your employees and your customers? If you’re in your 50s or 60s or older, why would you not want to text your grandkids?

My granddaughter Julia begins her text volley with “hi.” I love getting that message. My granddaughter Morgan texts me daily in text lingo with one thought or another (“CU 2Nite”). My granddaughter Claudia texts me when something great happens. She’s SEVEN. What’s your excuse?

Here are a few more rules to text by:

• Short and sweet.

• Text when you need me.

• Be clear. Text full words.

• Be careful what you say about third parties – texts may be passed on or read or posted by others.

• Be responsive BUT not rude. Texting should be done when you have the private time and space, not in meetings or while others are talking.

• Be mannerly. If you want to respond to a text and you’re in a conversation with others, ask for permission.

Join the revolution. More than 90 percent of kids text, but only 20 percent of people over 45 text. If you’re in the group of the technologically deprived, you may want to look at an upgraded phone and get into the 21st century.

Texting is not a fad. It’s today, and it’s the future. Harness its power in business, and while you’re at it, tell your grandkids that you love them.

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached by phone at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com. © 2009 Jeffrey H. Gitomer

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