by Emily Mouyeos*
Sales forces across the country are always fighting off cold-call reluctance. But what about just call reluctance in general? I’m starting to lose count of the conversations I’ve heard between different generations complaining about the other generations’ call behavior. The younger generations seem to rely too much on email where the older generations seem to always call for things when an email would sometimes suffice. Here is an interesting article comparing 20-somethings to baby boomers in the workplace.
My goal isn’t to fight for either camp because I believe there is truth on both sides of the debate. However, I think it is more important to examine why we don’t call when we should. First, let’s take a look at when we should call.
We should call when…
- It’s a conversation. Have you ever sent what you thought you would be one email, but then it turned out to be what felt like the longest email chain according to Guinness World Records? Most of the time one phone call will stop an unnecessary email chain. People often email because they want to save time, but if it turns into a conversation then you may be taking up more time. I like to operate by my own rule of thumb, email when I’m sharing information to be reviewed and call when it’s something to discuss. It’s not a law to live by, more a rule of thumb.
- When you don’t know the acquaintance that well. No matter your industry, no matter your business, building relationships is always important. It’s hard to feel connected to a person when you’ve never heard their voice. We can’t always put a face to a name. However, we can put a voice to name. Have you ever been under the impression that you’re emailing “a demon” only to find that the person was pleasant to speak with over the phone? How does that happen? It may have something to do with the classic idea that, words contribute seven percent, tonality 38 percent and body language 55 percent to communication. If the last two percentages are combined then 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. It’s extremely hard to read non-verbal queues over email. (Is your email sending the wrong message? Find out by reading this post from my BurrellesLuce colleague and Fresh Ideas blogger Lauren Shapiro?)
- When the person is of the “I call” generation. Another rule of thumb I like to live by is to mirror my client. If they call, I call. If they email, I email. However, I do stop this trend if I can tell that my client is experiencing “call reluctance” themselves and our conversation warrants a phone conversation.
What do you do when you know you should call but you just don’t feel like it? Or when that send button is just too easy for you not to push? Sales consultant, Ted Barrows, provides ways for sales executives to overcome cold-call reluctance and I think the advice can be applied to any type of call reluctance.
Do you find yourself in the “I email” or “I call” generation? How do you determine whether a call or email is the best way to communicate? How do you cure the call reluctance blues?
*Bio: Emily Mouyeos joined the BurrellesLuce account management team with a background in nonprofit communication and development. Her background and current experience with BurrellesLuce allows her to effectively address client needs and consolidate feedback for senior management. To Emily, nothing feels better than helping others achieve their goal, whether it’s professionally or personally. By focusing on client management through the Fresh Ideas blog, she hopes to evaluate new client management trends, as well as provide insight to the pros and cons of current practices. She looks forward to connecting with the readers of Fresh Ideas for new perspectives and dialogue on issues that affect overall success. LinkedIn: Emily Mouyeos Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce