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Working Social Networking: A Phone Call might be Best Results.

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I get this conversation over email all the time:

Hi. This is [Name]. Please call me – 555-555-5555

Better yet, I will send an email with my phone number in the context and it will get replied with an email from them and their personal phone number. It begins to feel like a competition – who will give in and call first?

Usually I lose that contest. And I am proud of that fact.

I have a few rules in my life. One rule is that I don’t normally text or email past five messages (unless I know the other party cannot be called). If I get into a question – answer text or email, I would rather call and get all resolved.

Another rule is that I don’t get rid of phone numbers. You never know when you will need to call them. If you are entered into my phone, I will keep that number as long as I can.

Why Should You Call?

In this day and age when we can text, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instant Message, Comment, Foursquare and a whole bunch of other things I cannot think of at the moment, calling seems to be a lost art. Some people seem to have a “Telephonophobia” without a “Textophobia”.

I have worked with clients that send email and texts like no tomorrow. After 2 days (and no resolution of a problem), I called them. Within the one call, I got more information than from any text I sent.  We got the problem resolved within minutes (instead of days).

Most important, I got praise for taking the initiative and calling them. Something that nobody else does.

When Should you Call?

I have changed my stature on “Call me” emails. If I have their number, I will call. If I don’t have their number, I write in this paragraph:

I would like to talk to you over the phone. How should I get a hold of you? If you do want to contact me, my number is xxx-xxx-xxxx

Persistence is also king in this issue. I had a client once not want to give a phone number at first, but after a while they realized I could do my job faster if we talked over the phone. We got all information resolved within minutes.

Of course, when I say call, it can be a Skype call, an over-the-phone contact, a one-on-one Facebook call or even Google Hangout. There are also many 3rd party unified communications methods you can use.

Calling gets less ignored than an email or Facebook message. Some people have even reduced their online time so they can get more work done. Therefore, calling may be the quickest way to resolve an issue.

Bottom line, though – If you are not getting something resolved, try calling. If you need information now, try calling. The interaction between parties can really make your business feel a little more personable.

Don’t put the responsibility in their lap. Take the initiative and call them. If you don’t have their number, ask for it.

Meeting face-to-face I feel is the best way to talk. Over the phone is a decent alternative. There are instances where email is the better way to go (especially if you need recorded verification).

Jeffrey Powers is a Podcaster and Videographer. He produces multiple shows on Geekazine (www.geekazine.com) including Geek Smack! 5 Tech things you should know, Day in Tech History and the Geekazine Special Media Feed. You can catch him on Twitter (@geekazine) and on Google Plus.


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