Yes, that YouTube image of what someone thinks the next iPhone will look like gives you some context — this is a piece about phones. But it’s NOT about the look or otherwise of the phone. It’s far deeper than that.

To give you some real context right up-front just do this: imagine..

Specifically, imagine you were setting out to be the best example in the world of a business that does what you do.

Or if that’s too big a jump, imagine your business as nothing more than a series of interconnected processes. And imagine that for every process you asked one simple question: ‘is this the way that an inspiring enterprise would do this?’ [And obviously, an inspiring enterprise is one to which prospects and future team members want to belong.]

So with that context, take a look at your phone — most likely a ‘smart’ one (as opposed to a fixed line or VoIP one).

And staggeringly, here is precisely the way that most people answer it ……… ‘hello’. Seriously. And yet in many cases that’s the first contact that the caller has had with the business. It just doesn’t cut it does it?

The moment you get that, you have to kiss goodbye to ‘hello’.

Contrast the ‘hello’ with this: ‘Good afternoon (company or department name), this is Paul Dunn.’ And by the way, I do that on my iPhone irrespective of whether the phone is showing me the caller’s name. Again, seriously.

Almost always, the response is along these lines, ‘Hi Paul, it’s Jack Blackman and I was wondering if ……..

And we’re instantly ‘connected’. Here’s why.

Go back to the way I do it (and the way I’d strongly recommend you do it too). The ‘good morning or afternoon’ is obvious as is the company/department name if you’re the first point of call. But look the next 2 words ….. THIS IS.

They’re crucial.

It turns out that when the caller hears ‘this is …’, they’re expecting — and they get ready to hear — a name. After all, you’re not going to answer your phone like this “Good afternoon, XYZ Company, this is Wednesday.

And it also turns out that in most cases, particularly in Western cultures, because the ‘this is’ telegraphs that a name is coming, the caller will automatically reciprocate with their full name too. Instant connection. No need for you to say, ‘can I ask who’s calling?’ Please get rid of that.

Does this mean that your first responders should give their first and last names? A very solid ‘yes’ to that one. And they should do it with no other words (like ‘speaking’) on the end either. We’ll explore why that is next time.

So …. say goodbye to ‘hello’ and enjoy the increased connection that using the ideas here give you.

In the meantime, as always, I’m really looking forward to your comments.