Not so many years ago, my son asked me why we “dial” the phone. Of course he did – he’s never dialed a phone in his life.
Someday, he might be asked by his child, “Why do we say we “talk ” on the phone?” He and his peers (and most of you under a certain age) use phones for so much more than actually speaking. And the rate at which phones are being used other than for calls is increasing, especially with those under the age of 29.
This is not a bad thing. It’s empowering to be able to get “just-in-time” information, connect with friends and family, for quick texts, directions, etc. We have an unprecedented ability to stay connected, entertained and empowered – a trend that will only grow over time.
That said, I’d argue it’s time to go retro, so pick up the phone to get things done smarter and faster.
I had a rule with my sales teams that if we had more than three exchanges debating a topic/idea, they needed to pick up the phone and call me. It was so “old school” that some resisted the idea but it was simply more efficient. It meant we solved problems faster without long-tail emails, reinforced how to work together and, oftentimes, created a stronger sense of community simply by working directly together rather than through a digital filter.
When was the last time you picked up the phone to check in on a client? No agenda/upsell/sales pitch – just a, “Hey, don’t want to take much time but I wanted to see how you were doing.” kind of phone call. Maybe you know his last child just left for college or you know she just finished a busy time of the year – find a valid reason to call and connect. They may be surprised but they’ll be glad you did.