Human Interaction: My Story of Supply and Demand

Thomas Sumner - Account Executive

April 2014 – Take a look at society today and the way that we interact with one another. Most would agree that it has taken quite a turn from past generations. Human interaction is changing, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, and one key-stroke at a time. There is hardly a conversation that isn’t interrupted by the ringing of a phone, the vibration of a text message, or an email alert. According to a recent study from ABC News, the average person looks at their phone upwards of one hundred and fifty times per day.

Generation after generation, technology is introduced earlier and earlier, and we continue to become more proficient in the way we handle day-to-day multitasking. Faster, simpler, better – we as humans strive to be more efficient, and to stretch our twenty-four hours as much as possible. As people continue to make these strides forward, we also become more and more reliant on technology. We do not do ‘research’ anymore – we ‘Google’, and more often than not we do not call – we text or email. I have personally noticed that in my family, there has been a rapid increase in the amount my grandparents use and dependence on social media. It seems that this is the case because this has become the chosen method of younger family members to share information and pictures. If my grandparents didn’t use social media, they would rarely see the most recent pictures of their children and other loved ones.

So now the question remains, in a world full of competitive sales and impressionable prospects, how does one differentiate themselves? Perhaps it’s using a creative font different from Tahoma, or Times New Roman, images, maybe a catchy tagline. That may be the answer, but I believe that there is another way. In college, economics taught me that as supply decreases, demand increases. The supply of personal touch-points and relationship building is down, and the supply of generic emails and passionless mailers is up. Why not give the people what they want? As a salesperson, I am more than capable of creating a supply of personal touch-points.

A handwritten thank you card is a powerful piece of communication that is commonly overlooked. It not only breaks up the repetition ofa communication consisting of monotonous perfect font, and pouring over an LED screen of some sort, but it adds a human touch that is not seen that often anymore. I can’t count the number of people I have spoken with who remembered me specifically because of my thank-you card. I had a prospect for one of our construction clients keep a card on his desk for over a year, and still has my business card in his rolodex, to this day.

From time to time I hear objections to the idea of writing personal thank-you cards. Normally, it has something to do with the time required or penmanship. I understand that it takes a little more time to compile than an email, but I personally practice quality over quantity. As far as penmanship goes, I would rather be remembered for my ‘not-so-perfect’ handwriting, than ignored and labeled as generic. Personally, I’m committed to supply where there is demand – thank you very much.

Questions? Please contact Thomas Sumner at