Have you ever received an email requesting a phone call from someone you’ve never met or communicated with before? I did this week, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I thought I would share this story with you in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
Here is what the email in question said:
Please call me immediately. I have some questions about working with you.
No “Hello” or “Hi,” no thank you in advance or more information about what the questions pertained to. Just their signature file followed with all their contact information.
Bossy or Demanding?
From a business perspective, do first contact phone requests provide a window into what working with the sender may entail? Absolutely.
From a personal perspective, how do you know this is a person you want to call? Or can trust.
So, I called within an hour of receiving her email. She is on a “smoke break.” I left my name, number, and message that I was “returning her email.” Also, noting that she could give me a buzz back after her smoke break or at her convenience. She did not return the call that day…
The next day, I get a forwarded copy of the first email. Really? This is a prime example of the incorrect use of email. Now we are not only demanding, but we are also lazy.
Neither of these are good traits if you want to succeed online. And that’s what I do. I hold people accountable and push them to do the hard work that online success requires.
No comments added, no “sorry I missed your call” — nada. Clearly an unprofessional approach. And, for me, a huge indication of what it would be like to work with this person.
I guess this was her way of saying, “Call me!” which I did — and again, not available. At that point, I no longer had an incentive to encourage further communications.
Eventually, this person did pick up the phone and call me after I did not respond to the 2nd forward of the original email. Her phone call further solidified my first impression. She talked like she typed, and she was not going to be the boss of me.
Email is not always a wise replacement for a phone call. Particularly someone whose help you need. This goes for personal emails too.
When you want to talk to someone — pick up the darned phone. Pull it out of your pocket or purse and dial their number.
What if you get their voicemail? If you must send an email, I would use that as an opportunity to provide additional details of what you would like to cover.
To call, then send an email before receiving a call back can appear impatient. That is why making sure the email is informative and courteous s important.
Sorry, I missed your call — here are more details for when we speak. Thanks!
First Contact = Impression
What do you think this type of “first contact” says about you as a potential customer, client, or contact? You can bet nothing positive.
This is just one more example of how simple actions or choices can make a huge difference with that critical first impression, especially with new contacts or those who do not know you well.
Don’t hinder your ability to foster mutually respectful relationships by taking an insensitive or self-centered approach.