Here’s the Friday challenge: We already know prospects who refuse to answer their phones. But how many of your friends or family members actually answer their phones when you call? Not just because you called them at 3 a.m., but during regular, normal hours of the day. Do any of them ever pick up?
Admit it, you can count on one hand the ones that pick up. And let me guess, they are over 80 years old, right? Prospects and friends alike have come to see phone calls as a rude interruption that is “so yesterday.”
Sherry Turkle has written extensively on this new normal disconnect. In her article The Flight From Conversation she writes about how we have lost the time it takes to talk with each other about what really matters. Instead, texts and posts are the new armor we hide behind.
It even impacts romance and dating. Alex Williams writes in The End of Courtship that Millennials may never experience what it’s like to actually go out on a date because the “Hey, wanna meet up for a drink at 10?” text — which probably autocorrected what you wanted to say anyway — has replaced the waiting-by-the-phone-until-he-calls style of courtship and the long talks into the night — listening to their stories and jokes, making the quick comeback, hearing how happy or tired they sound, really getting to know them.
Even phone-shy customers are starved for real conversation, the kind where they talk and you really listen. And sales get made. Even though they don’t always pick up, they may be ready for more than a texting hook-up. I agree with Sherry Turkle’s suggestion that employers replace casual Fridays with Conversational Thursdays. What would be talk about? What would it sound like? What might happen afterwards?
When is the last time you had a conversation?