I often talk about the importance of live conversation and how much more can get accomplished using a simple phone call over a whole bunch of emails. I think many believe hearing a voice builds trust. I think so too. Mostly I like how we can complete an entire conversation in one phone call and I don’t have to wait to receive and respond to emails to get all the details. Lately though, I hate giving out my number – and here’s why:
- 9:00 phone calls: People who call after 9:00 because they know I’m home piss me off. I don’t even call my friends after 9:00, let alone business contacts. I don’t know anyone who likes to be bothered during their down time with business or solicitations. Calling me during my family time simply because you know I’ll be home to answer the phone, is the best way to have me reconsider our relationship.
- Dumb calls: I have no problem talking with people I wish to work or collaborate with. When they continuously call me for silly reasons I get annoyed. Asking questions about a job we’re doing together isn’t necessarily a silly reason. Calling me three times to confirm something I confirmed twice already makes me kind of cranky. I don’t like it when people feel that because I work at home I’m always available when the phone rings.
- Nothing else gets done: Last Thursday I had conference call day. I was on the phone from 10:00 until 3:00. I didn’t get dressed or take a shower, eat or go to the bathroom until the afternoon. Part of that was bad planning on my part, but the truth is, I can do other things besides talking on the phone. Mind you, I got a lot accomplished as a result of those phone calls, but no important personal stuff.
Again, my preference is to do business over the phone. I find it more productive. However, there are reasons I’m hesitant to give out my number.
Do you use the phone for business? What do you like or dislike about using the phone for business?