Is a Phone Call Old-Fashioned?

30 Apr


Every day, you only get a few phone calls – probably no more than twenty? Also every day, you probably get 100+ emails from clients, co-workers, friends and others.

So I ask the question – are phone calls a thing of the past? I’ll give you my perspective and I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.

YES, I think the phone call is old school. I hate it when someone interrupts my work day with a call on something that isn’t urgent or important; most people don’t want to answer a phone call when they are in the middle of something. Paying clients – YES PLEASE – call me! Candidates, friends, colleagues, vendors and co-workers? I’d prefer an email or text. Then we can schedule a time to talk by phone or in-person (in the near future).

When to make a phone call:

  • It’s urgent and something needs to be done within the next couple of hours.
  • It’s a pre-scheduled call.
  • I can’t really think of a third reason!

Once I end my work day, I find myself too exhausted to call my friends and family. Reason being? I’ve already spent too much time that day talking to people over the phone. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy working with people and helping them out. But I’m a borderline introvert/extrovert so my loved ones usually get texts; often planning a future rendezvous in person. From my experience, most people get exhausted by consistently being on the phone during the day. 

Read this article on why Coca Cola decided to discontinue voicemail last December:

When to send an email:

  • Just about any time and for any reason. You can send them in the middle of the night regarding something taking place tomorrow or 3 months from now.
  • It’s always appropriate to send emails. In fact, it seems more polite as the recipient decides if they want to respond and also when they have the time to respond.

Bonus – When to send a text:

  • Just about any time. Think of it as a faster email. Just make sure you know that it’s their cell phone.
  • If I haven’t been able to reach a person by email or phone, I’ll often text.
  • If they are under 40, you are almost always guaranteed to get a better response rate.

People selling products or services to me, call more than anyone. If I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer it. Instead, I get a transcribed text message of their voicemail via Google Voice. I’m not saying that the phone isn’t a necessary tool but it isn’t as necessary as it was just a few years ago. I’ve found that some of my friends don’t even listen to their voicemail messages for days at a time. Generation X and Y are up and coming so be prepared for more change… For all I know, Facebook Messenger and Instagram will be the only ways to reach young Americans in the future.

For now: Urgent matters – call. When in doubt – email.

If you are a regular reader of my posts on WordPress, I apologize for my “disappearance” of late. My bi-monthly posts have now returned! Last quarter, I wrapped up my sales eBook “Sales Neutrinos” – feel free to request a copy. Also check out my recent blogs on LinkedIn.

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz





Twitter: @drew_schmitz

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