We are constantly hearing that ‘people buy from people’.

We all know that in small business it is all about getting to know each other and building trust, before buying.

My work is all about people, understanding who they are, what they are selling, and how to help them connect with their people through online communications – or ‘social’ communications.

I’ve used the word ‘people’ five times already in this post. That’s what it is all about.

We know that networking offline and online is about engagement, not selling. It’s about personality and authenticity. Being someone people want to work with.

We make emotional connections with people and when we want to find out more about them we look at their website, their business card or email them.

infohidingWord of mouth marketing isn’t just about what you do.  Happy customers tell others about your personality as well as your skills.

So why risk a disconnect by displaying an email address on your website and business card that starts with ‘info@’?

How connected do you feel to info@justleaveitwithme.com?

I suspect not very. It doesn’t feel very sociable or engaging does it? In fact it can be quite alienating for some.

My business is all about you. I want you to connect with me, engage with me, use my name, get to know me.

If you decide you want to work with me, then this social and emotional process will have established a strong connection that will be a foundation for our successful relationship.

I understand that larger organisations with high staff turnover may need to direct their customers to ‘sales’, ‘enquiries’ or ‘info’.

But if you are a small business where engagement with your customer base is important to your success, why are you hiding? Is there a real person in there?

May I suggest you use your own name on your business card?

It is easy to add personalised email addresses to your domain name. It is also easy to display these on your website and stationery.

Unless you actually do have staff called ‘info’ or ‘admin’, you might like to consider an email address that supports your networking efforts, rather than one that might damage the connection made.

I think your customers will find it more friendly and engaging.

Do you agree?

Or if you are using ‘info’, do the benefits for you outweigh the way it makes me feel?