I’m usually a little more techy than this post, but there will be plenty of value here. This is a little more sociological than how to secure a wireless network. I’m talking about knowing when to send and e-mail and when to pick up the phone and make a call.
Oh yeah, you know what I’m talking about. We’re all busy. Why should I have to call? What can I say that I can’t write? It’ll take longer to make the call. We know the excuses. In my case it wasn’t necessarily excuses. My background is in IT ops so I always felt that a pager message, text message, or email was a far better way to communicate with me than a phone call. As I began to manage more people I had to communicate with other managers and most times they weren’t as email oriented as IT folk.
Now, running my own small business I finally understand that some things just can’t be done over email. Combine that with the idea that some people just don’t like to work over email and you can see why phone calls are important. Face to face meetings are a whole other category. As digital as we get, people want to look you in the eye and hear your voice before they place their trust in you.
Case in point. I’ve been considering calling a client to say hi for a few days. We had done some work for them about 9 months ago. I followed up, they were happy. So it was going to be a hi, let’s build the relationship call. And out of the blue I got an email from the CEO asking me about a potential project. I started to email him back and then thought since this whole thing was serendipitous I should just pick up the phone and call him.
Wonder of wonders! I call him, he answers, and immediately says, “Wow, that’s customer service.”
Any call that starts with those words is a call worth making. We’ve now got a proposal out for what might be 3% of projected revenue for this year. Not a bad use of my time, even if I could’ve save 10 minutes by sending an email.