relationships in the digital age

By Adam Miller

How do we build a deeper level of trust and long-term relationships?

People used to talk, and people used to call. It seems the everyday office hustle has been replaced by murmur and pitter-patter on smart phones and keyboards, tap-tap silence is everywhere. Messaging has become a pivotal part of our day and night, but what is going on?

We are living in a world of the indirect, the implied. We weed through words of sarcasm, rhetoric, and strategy and we’re left with no intonation to rely on, only emojis that leave us even more in the dark. I find myself emailing or texting rather than calling — asking permission. So often each day, the words, “Can you talk?” or “When is good time to meet?” get hammered out on my iPhone.

But why? Why are we so afraid to pick up the phone? When did it start to feel so rude and intrusive? Why, someone that has spent over 2 decades of doing business on the phone, do I start to fall into the trap of emailing, texting and waiting?

It sounds crazy to me, even as I write this today. Why are we doing this? Has anyone ever asked us not to call or chastised us for calling? The answer is yes of course – but only in minuscule proportions.

As I spoke to friends and colleagues, I started to see it wasn’t just me. We’ve allowed this to become the norm. We’ve become complacent about it. Or have we become outdated?

It’s a natural human instinct to want to communicate — we need it, we crave it. The technology generation has allowed us to connect with people en masse, which is incredible, but it has also created a superficial level of connection.

To create and forge a relationship with any real meaning, we have to TALK.

I’ve seen business change dramatically over the years. Sales people were seen as experts, phones were ringing, people forged good relationships, honor and respect were common place and people collaborated. CYA didn’t really exist that much.

So, I’ve cut out all the BS* and looked at what’s still working in my own life and the business world around me. Who are the people I trust? Who trusts me? Who do I consider the experts? How do I get things done FAST and how do I interact with these people?

When I really want something done or want some immediate information, I pick up the phone. I get rid of the weird feeling and push through the, “Oh gosh, I shouldn’t call,” and just pick up the phone. The results are always the same, it feels great and we are connecting!

When I show real interest in something and fill out a form or download a piece of information, it’s a great feeling to get a call and have a real conversation with a person who cares about helping me achieve my objectives.

If you want to get things done, foster long-term business relationships, connect on a deeper level with people that care in those most critical moments, then pick up the phone. Meet for coffee, share personal experiences, gain knowledge and connect. We all help each other to learn, to do better business, and to become more rounded individuals – both on a personal and professional basis.

We cannot build these significant relationships over email and text or a lead nurturing program. They are built on human interaction!

So, rather than email or text: “Can you talk?” — skip a step and pick up the phone, dial the person and have a real conversation. It’ll feel great.

The people who get sucked too deep into this digital era and forget the actual human element will be the ones who will eventually become outdated — the human connection will always prove more powerful – combine both and you will be unstoppable.

Getting the combination of your digital and human strategy right in this era is key to short and long-term growth. Nail it and thrive. Or, miss the mark and watch your leads and relationships suffer or die.

For more information on how to “Unlock Relationships” and get more information on maximizing every opportunity, contact us.

Further reading

Related Work


The ELEVATE Group is a collection of 3 hyper-focused businesses. Each with a different center of gravity. All under one global roof.

• Data Integrity

• Demand Generation 

• Business Insights 

In time of dramatic change, with technologies and behaviors changing faster than ever before, our core principles and experience enable us to provide a timeless framework to deliver results where others repeatedly fail. Based on years of research, centering on deep fundamental truths and taking our own knowledge and customer successes, the alignment and awareness of these 3 focus areas, working independently or seamlessly together, we ultimately deliver a greater return on investment for our customers.