The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That’s where we come in, we’re computer professionals. We cause accidents. (Nathaniel Borenstein)
Call or email?
I have seen a job lost by a single email. Instead of picking up the phone, the candidate decided to ask a bunch of delicate questions by email. With email, they can’t see your smile or hear your voice. An email can’t respond to the question in the reader’s voice. An email isn’t a real personal contact. It is just a contact.
Never leave an important contact to an email if you don’t have to. Instead of sending a long email, pick up the phone and call. You can document the conversation in an email afterwards, but make the initial contact more personal. Pick up the phone.
Sure, you can ask, “Have you made a decision yet?” by email. But, if the reader is frustrated with his staff when he gets it, he thinks, “One more person on my back.” If you get him on the phone and hear his frustration you can say, “You sound in a hurry, how can I help you in this process? What else do you need me to do?” You can become the one sane voice he has heard today.
Email is great, but personal contact is better. One trainer in our industry suggests that I make every third contact by phone. That way I remain in closer contact with the situation. I hear the voice, the attitude, the person. You and my clients in turn hear my voice. I continue being a real person in your mind.
Be honest. A one page email often takes longer than a phone call. It just isn’t as scarey. You spend 20 minutes writing, editing and worrying. Then you send it. A five minute phone call is faster.
For a lot of chores a computer is incredibly fast. It really can help. For keeping in contact with people who have to remember who you are, occasionally pick up the phone.
Something to do today
If you have a list of people you are waiting to hear from about jobs, start making at least every third contact a phone call.
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