If Eric Schmidt can step away to make time for a personal connection, so can you.

In May 2009, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, spoke to the graduating class of the University of Pennsylvania. In his commencement address, he said, “Turn off your computer. You’re actually going to have to turn off your phone and discover all that is human around us. Nothing beats holding the hand of your grandchild as he walks his first steps.”

Now in 2012, he told graduates at Boston University to “Take one hour a day and turn that thing off… Take your eyes off that screen and look into the eyes of the person you love. Have a conversation, a real conversation.”

Connect, For Real

Technology allows us to connect through a multitude of devices. But none is as impactful, truthful, or engaging as a real, live, personal connection. Business technology is helpful, too (think, CRM, automated marketing)—but no matter how newfangled, cross-platform, or enhanced, “You Are the Ultimate Sales Technology.”

Get Talking

Do we know how to have a conversation, or do we hide behind the technology curtain and believe that no one really needs to talk to anyone anymore? What’s the issue here? Technology dependence begins to shift our values and our beliefs. We believe that technology is a panacea. We want to automate everything (almost). The more we automate, the better our sales life, right?

Wrong. People do business with people, not with technology. (Read, “Toss the Technology: Relationships Still Rule”.) Bottom line: People do business with those they know, like, and trust. Old news…yes. True…yes.

Step Away from the Device

So pick up the *&#$! phone and talk to your sales prospects and clients. I don’t care whether “conversation” is an art or a science—it doesn’t matter. What matters is the personal connection. Nothing beats a personal conversation.

Step out from behind the technology curtain and discover the real world; it’s waiting for you.

What’s Your Greatest Connection Challenge? Comment Here

What’s holding you back from picking up the phone? What will you actually miss if and when you turn off the digital devices in your life? (Hint: Probably less than you think.)