You just “e-met” someone on LinkedIn, email or Skype and are about to talk about business. Then the other person suddenly says: “Let’s jump on a call”.
WTF? WHY would you want to do that???
First of all. I don’t “jump” on calls.
Second. I hate calls, and here is why.
The call always comes in a bad time
In 99% of the time you are either working, eating, having a break, doing sports, taking a loo or doing something else important and then that stupid call comes in, and you have to stop everything you are doing and answer it. There’s practically never a good time for a call (unless of course, you scheduled it before), because I don’t remember ever sitting and thinking: “hmm, now it would be a good time if someone gave me a cold call”.
The call takes all your attention
Whenever someone calls you, you have to stop whatever you are doing and focus 100% on that call. You can’t do anything that requires your attention at the same time. But for example, when you are using instant messaging apps, you can very well continue working and checking messages every couple minutes.
You can only talk to one person at a time
This may not happen often to you, but occasionally in the busiest time of the day, you find yourself having a Skype or Telegram conversation with several different people at the same time. Now how would you imagine doing it on the phone? This is also the reason why in customer service, chat support if much more effective than phone support, you can serve more clients at the same time.
On the phone, you have to react instantly
Normally you would need on average 1 minute to listen, understand, analyze and reply, but the phone you don’t have time to think, because fast-paced based discussion requires you to say something right away, even if you don’t know what to. Our brain cannot generate answer immediately out of the blue, you need some time to analyze information. When writing, you can easily take 1 minute pause to think, but on the phone 1 minute of silence would be very awkward and odd.
There’s no time to check facts
The phone conversation is often very fast-paced. You don’t have time to valid information on the Internet, but have to rely only on the knowledge you already have. This could create problems when the other person is lying to you, or simply being wrong. Also in a business call, you will often discuss matters that need preparing or information gathering, and when on the phone you will simply not have time for that.
Over half of what you said or heard on the phone will be instantly forgotten
Human memory is not perfect, we forget a lot of things and we forget them fast. In fact, we forget way over 95% of what we do. If that phone call was important we may remember half of it for a day, but after a month, it will be good if we even recall of having that conversation. However, when we use written communication 100% of what we say is recorded forever. This may become very vital in case of disputes when we simply can’t remember what we agreed on. Just remember, how often you had an argument with a friend, simply because one of you forgot what you agreed on in the first place.
The reasons mentioned above are common ones, that everybody would agree with. But in addition to that, I have a lot of personal reasons why I don’t like phone calls, some of which may be relevant to some people.
I just don’t like phone calls
I don’t know how it can be a good idea in someone’s head to jump on a call after you said “hello” for the first time to someone on LinkedIn. You have no idea if he’s gonna offer you anything good, or just waste your time, but still, you want to become emotionally involved with him by starting a phone conversation.
Writing is easier than talking
For me, writing is a much easier, faster and convenient way of communicating with someone. It would never come to my mind, to call someone, because I’m perfectly happy with messaging with him. There’s simply absolutely no need for that, so why to do something that is not needed nor wanted?
You have to prepare for the call
When writing due to the possibility of taking a short pause you have time to plan your next sentence, but on the phone, it really has to be planned in advance and maybe even written down. This makes phone conversation harder and more stressful than simple instant messaging.
The 9th Circle of Hell: Video Calls
The only thing I hate more than normal calls are video calls. It’s a combination of everything that is bad in regular calls plus new additional discomforts:
- You have to dress up for a call, especially if it’s with someone important. Most often you cannot just sit in your dirty T-shirt.
- You have clean up your surrounding. Depending on the angle of your web-camera, some private things may show up in the video stream. Therefore you need to remove them and clean all the mess you may have in your room.
- You have to behave like you are listening. On the normal call you can as well continue surfing the web, and not paying attention to what the other person tells you. But on video, he will see you, so if you are doing something else, that will be noticed.
Don’t ever make me a cold call to me!
If you think you are a smart ass and somehow managed to dig up my phone number and call me you made a big mistake. Trust me, you blew off your chance. The deal is off. I’m not gonna conduct any business with you.
Most likely you are trying to obtrude yourself into my free time and force me to buy some shit your company is selling. And the reason you are calling is to catch me off guard, so that you will have a better chance at succeeding.
Well now, that is both rude and disrespectful, and I don’t want to engage business with a person who does not respect me, or anyone else for that matter.
How to contact me?
I mostly use email, Skype and Telegram. It’s very easy to find my contact details, as I display them everywhere, even here on Medium.com. They are certainly easier to find then my phone number, which is display nowhere. Therefore if I hear someone calling me and saying me that they “only found my phone number”, I will instantly know that they are both stupid and lying.
I answer to every written contact request unless it’s spam, therefore there’s no reason to harass me over the phone, unless you want me to start ignoring you.
When do I use the phone?
Don’t get me wrong, I do use phone sometimes, rarely, but I do. I talk on the phone with my wife, friends and other people I already know. But I’m not gonna ever jump on a call with someone I don’t know, because in the past when I did, 100% of that time was wasted and didn’t lead to anything fruitful. The other person was just trying to convince me doing something I didn’t want to, and the only reason he wanted to have a call in the first place, is because he’s a professional salesman and thought that he would have a better chance of hypnotizing me over the phone with his speech.
Most of the times it’s the person that is offering or selling something is the one who wants to talk on the phone. So if you are the one who wants something from me, show some respect and take into account my wishes. I’m already showing you respect by giving you a chance to present yourself, so answer with the same respect and use the means of communication that I prefer.
Call me a millennial (which I am), but I hate phone calls, and nothing’s gonna change it. If you keep pushing me into doing something I don’t like, one thing is gonna happen: We’re not gonna be able to work together. You’re not Elon Musk. You’re not gonna offer me anything unique. Most likely I will get the same offer from someone else tomorrow. Therefore if you want something from me, you gonna have to play by my rules.