It’s missing in a variety of situations these days, from having friends, to meeting singles, to these so called quick businesses that you can run without even having a brain. You’ve seen them, so “turn-key” that you could literally purchase one for your pet monkey. Today, advanced technology has saved literally millions of “man hours,” and dollars by using automated phone systems. Gone are the days of Lily Tomlin and “one ringy dingy.” We can do everything from pay our bills to refill prescriptions, without even a human transaction. Of course some people prefer it that way, especially when they are giving out financial information. But is automation really better than a human?

Today the online community is global. You can run a business without leaving your home, and do most of what you need with a computer. Email, which just a few short years ago, seemed like a futuristic way to communicate “in the moment,” has now been upgraded with “instant messaging.” Literally having a real- time conversation with someone without ever speaking a word.

As far as normal business operation is concerned, this type of communication is fine. Just as communicating with your family and friends this way is fine too. However, people are taking this modern technological marvel and using it in other ways.

There are the people who are trying to meet other people. So they build these online “profiles” to describe themselves and to network in communities where there are others like themselves. This can be so extremely deceptive, as we know from the countless news stories of predators waiting to attack unknowing children.

How about in business. Maybe you are trying to start your own home or online business. You do tons of research amidst the ocean of endless possibilities being offered. You go to what looks like a beautifully designed professional website. It seems to have all of the things you’re looking for. Will you plunk down a chunk of change on what seems to be that golden opportunity? It looks great, right? whether it’s an Ebay business, or Ebooks, or affiliating products, such as health supplements, the promises are out there. The testimonials are there too. It must be the thing!

But alas, as experience would show, it seldom works out that way. There may be different reasons for failure, and these reasons may be as unique as the individual. Or it may be as simple as not taking the time to make phone contact.

The art of the human phone conversation is not difficult, nor does it require a certain etiquette. It’s as simple as making contact, asking a few questions, and then observing both your gut feeling and your hind site. It is the best way to find out what you are getting yourself into. With time and practice it WILL show you the difference between a scam, and a real company trying help you, the customer, and make a living too. Anybody can get a website. They can be deceptive and misleading. If they don’t offer a contact phone number, that should be a red flag right away. If you email some companies you can generally get an idea of how their customer service works (or doesn’t) but when you are about to make a substantial investment, you really want to check further.

It’s not always so much what you ask, as it is just asking anything. When the phone rings, does anybody answer? Do they have a voice mail, that is on all the time. This might not be your best opportunity. Especially if part of your business is to refer other people.

Remember Columbo? The TV detective in the 1970’s with the trench coat, who, just before leaving an investigation would always say “just one more thing…” That always seemed to be the question that helped him figure out the case. Sometimes the question is irrelevant, you may just be looking for the reaction or response. That’s the key. The response.

When you call, are they pleasant? Are they knowledgeable? Do they seem to enjoy where they are? Remember you are both professionals communicating in business. You have a right to make the call and inquire. If the business is a nutritional affiliate, you might ask about side effects, or dosages or even shelf life. No question is a stupid question. If this is a legitimate business they will welcome any question you have.

Another wonderful thing about the human phone conversation is, you can find some wonderful human to human connection. If you work at home, it can sometimes get lonely. An upbeat conversation can really make your day. You got to experience the life of a fellow human being. It’s an opportunity to say something nice and even make their day. Communication is how things get done, period. It is always a step toward your goal.

It can get even better. If you are in any type of wholesaling or dropshipping business, and you do everything in automated fashion, you may be missing out on some bargains or discounts. Sometimes all it takes is some pleasant communication and you’ll find someone who will go out of their way for you. You will build relationships and limitless possibilities. You will feel proud, accomplished and like a real business owner. As opposed to the guy or girl in “their underwear” and “isolation” at the kitchen table. Do you want to be in your underwear all day long with no one but yourself to talk to? A great phone conversation is a mood elevator and a catalyst to a chain reaction you may not even see for days or weeks, or even months. None of those possibilities apply if you try to do things the automated “turn-key” way.

You can start out by making calls to anyone. Call local businesses and ask about things in their store or business. Find a name of a business that might be confusing, and just call and ask what they do. Not everyone will be nice, but it’s all experience, and they don’t know you anyway! Some will be quick and others will take the time with you, even helping with something other than what they do.

So as you can see, with just practice, you can develop the art of the human phone conversation. The questions are all your own, and the answers will enlighten your way. You may find bargains, you may find wonderful words of encouragement, you may find new relationships. You may find that you can be of some help to someone else too. And isn’t that always a great feeling? What you definitely will find is gains in valuable knowledge and experience, that you can teach others or even keep to yourself!

So go work on your art to the human phone conversation, you still have some anonymity, so you don’t have to be embarrassed, just go, and keep going. You will develop a business (and personal) tool that will be invaluable.