Temporarily Unavailable: Why And How To Call People In The Era Of Messengers

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Temporarily Unavailable: Why And How To Call People In The Era Of Messengers
Temporarily Unavailable: Why And How To Call People In The Era Of Messengers

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Some twenty years ago the phrase "Dial me when you drive up to the dacha" would have caused at least bewilderment. Smartphones have become a natural and irreplaceable part of our travel: now we can be reached everywhere and this is a big plus. But this is also a minus - now you can get us everywhere. We began to treat issues of personal space and business communication differently: some people completely stopped using the telephone for calls, considering them something indecent, archaic and inappropriate.

Telephones have changed a lot in our lives and, among other things, allowed us to eventually stop talking on them. Just a few years ago, the question "Is it polite to call a colleague or business partner?" just didn't come up. Here is his number, you can call from ten to six, if he does not pick up the phone, it means that he went to lunch, will return to his workplace and call back after hearing a message on the answering machine. And if we do not have a work number, but a mobile one - is it possible to call then? What if he works from home and has a small child? What if he's at a meeting? Maybe it's better to send SMS first? Or even tweet? Today, a new telephone etiquette is being born, and the rules apply not only to phones, but also messengers, e-mail and much more.


Voice or text?

Business Insider writer and editor Nicholas Carlson admits that he reads most of his emails through an app on his smartphone and does the following: for 5% of emails, he gives a very quick and short response; if the sender is very important, writes a detailed response letter (1% of cases), sends the message to the archive without reading it (74% of cases), gives himself time, usually a day or two, to think about the answer (20% of cases). That is, email is, first of all, slow. Any communication channel with many letters is not very fast.

But what if you need to find out the decision of your interlocutor right now? Can I dial the number? Business consultant Cyrus Stoller believes that since everyone now uses smartphones, we need to expand our communication channels, but use them in accordance with our needs. He says: “If you want to get an answer from me in thirty minutes - call me. In two hours - write an SMS. During the day - send a message via the messenger. In a day or later - write by e-mail. " He says the following about the phone: “By dialing my number, you can be one hundred percent sure that I will understand exactly what you want to tell me and that I have received your message. If you are embarrassed to tear me away from what I am doing, perhaps it is not so important."

When unambiguously

not worth calling

Are there any rules for when you can and when you can't call? In fact, they are being formed right now and, as at any transitional stage, are not yet fixed. The more or less well-established rule sounds like this: if this is not a very important and urgent conversation, then it is better to write first. But there are cases when it is definitely not worth dialing a person's number on business issues. For example, if you received a phone number from a friend (colleague) and the person who gave it to you did not specify whether a stranger can freely call - and the number of the person you need is not publicly available. In this case, it is better to check with the source if you can refer to it.

Do not call if the clock is more than seven in the evening. Yes, perhaps this is childhood time for you, and you have just started to get involved in the work process, but many at seven in the evening prefer to throw work questions out of their heads in order to return to them the next morning.

Do not call if the question that interests you requires consideration.Would you like to work for our company? How much are you willing to pay for our services? These questions are difficult to answer in a hurry, so give the person time to think. Email is best suited for these purposes.

Don't use your phone if your coworker or partner is a millennial. Young employees often admit that they perceive a sudden call without prior email as an intrusion into their personal space, and many large companies have completely abandoned phones at their employees' workplaces.

When is the best time to use the phone

Okay, there are times when you can't do without a phone. For example, if you need to reach out to a government agency. Something tells you that if you tweet them, you will have to wait a long time for an answer. A very long time.

Call if you have a very urgent and important business, and you are not sure that the person quickly responds to messages. Or if your colleague himself said that the phone is the most preferred communication channel for him. In an ideal world, this is how it happens - people meet and say to each other: "My name is Alexander, and I love to be called, not written on Facebook." Or vice versa: "I am Tatiana, I hate talking on the phone with strangers." It is also worth calling if you have agreed to call at a specific time.


What should I say?

Very often, having reached the subscriber, we get lost, we start to get confused in words and even forget what exactly we wanted to say. To prevent this from happening, it is advisable to keep a small reminder in your head. First, introduce yourself. When a person first calls to discuss a business issue, he often forgets to give his name or the company where he works, leaving the interlocutor tormented by guesswork. Just say: "Good afternoon, my name is Yekaterina Ivanova, I am from the company …" If you have met before and are not sure that the person remembered your name, tell us exactly where you crossed paths. Something like: "Good afternoon, this is Marina, we met with you at a business breakfast for fans of dog racing."

Secondly, clarify whether it is convenient for your interlocutor to speak: he may be at a conference, at a business meeting, in the bathroom after all. Once you've introduced yourself and made sure you're ready to listen, you can get down to the point. Honestly, forget about polite questions like "How is your dog doing?" Unless you are a veterinarian, of course.

How to say?

If you really need to please the person at the other end of the cell tower, use very simple but effective techniques for this. To begin with, smile and sit like this throughout the conversation, even if your jaw gets tired. You will be surprised how much will change after that - you always feel a smile on the phone.

The second important trick is to try to focus completely on the conversation. If Julius Caesar were in your place, he would have managed to write several letters, open an individual entrepreneur and agree on a business breakfast with a colleague. And I would finally convince the interlocutor that he is an ill-mannered boor, because people always feel that you do not fully pay attention to them. Don't play solitaire, don't scribble an email, don't gesture to a colleague to buy you coffee - just devote yourself entirely to the conversation for a few minutes.

Everyone knows about the third technique, but for some reason they rarely use it. Address the person by their first name. If you call any organization, and a mechanical voice says to you: "Hello-Elena-how-can-I-help-you", this means that the person at the phone has not yet woken up, is immersed in his thoughts and does not listen to you. Say: "Hello, Elena, and my name is Anna" - and you will see, it will act like a kiss on Snow White - the interlocutor will come to life.


E-mail and instant messengers have given people who do not like to talk on the phone (and there are very, very many of them) the opportunity to avoid this.And the phone calls themselves somewhat discredited themselves - a lot of people no longer pick up the phone if an unfamiliar phone number is displayed on the screen: what if there is an advertisement again?

Yes, getting to us is much easier now than twenty years ago. It's even easier than a couple of years ago, because the number of communication channels is constantly increasing: WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype, Viber, Slack … Not responding to messages in the Facebook messenger? We'll write to him on Twitter, call him on WhatsApp - and so on until the unfortunate man's smartphone starts to burst from vibration and his nerves fail. Along with the increase in the number of communication channels, the etiquette of their use also changes. It was once difficult to imagine that you would write to a person on a business issue on Facebook, because social media was purely personal space. Today, it is difficult to imagine that you would just take and call a stranger if you, say, have his email address.

The rules are being born right now. Maybe in just a couple of years we will have an exact list of instant messengers that are required for every type of business or position, but while this list is not there, we move intuitively. Telephone conversations have not disappeared yet, but there are significantly fewer of them - not because they are bad or inconvenient, but because people have a choice. And if you hate talking on the phone, maybe now is the time to put Skype, Telegram or Twitter on your business card?

Photos: AliExpress

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