A few months ago, an editor I was pitching suddenly stopped replying to my emails after a lengthy back-and-forth exchange. We’d been talking about scheduling an interview with one of Matter’s clients for more than a month, and just as it looked like the interview would happen, she vanished.
After a few unanswered follow-up emails, I picked up the phone and dialed her office number. No answer. I hung up, waited an hour, and tried again. Voicemail. Although I was 99 percent sure she wouldn’t return my call, I left a message anyway.
Twenty minutes later my cell phone rang. It was her. Before I could finish answering, she replied, “You left a voicemail! No one leaves voicemails anymore.”
Confused, and a little scared that I did something wrong, I replied jokingly, “You weren’t returning my emails, so I figured I’d try something different.” She broke into laughter and told me “I get more emails in an hour than I get voicemails in a year.”
We went on to talk for nearly a half hour about the lost art of phone communications, and how email, texting and social media might phase out the phone all together.
Needless to say, we finally scheduled the interview, which resulted in a great article for my client. But more importantly, our conversation taught me the valuable lesson of following up with a phone call and always leaving a message.
Just because email, texting and social media have become a big part of our day-to-day communications, doesn’t mean we should completely abandon methods such as a simple phone call. Try it and you might be suprised at the results.