Some business people, including real estate agents, have the habit of immediately calling their clients when they have something important to discuss. But many clients would rather be sent a text first, instead of having to drop whatever they’re doing to answer the phone.
Lifehacker.com’s Sam Blum says that, apart from a few exceptions, it’s usually better to send a text message or email to a client before calling them. “Even if it seems like an indirect route for getting someone to pay attention, it’ll likely help your relationship with them over the long run,” he argued.
The problem is that these days, having someone call you on the phone feels like being interrupted. It’s an immediate demand for someone’s time, and they may have something else they’d rather be doing at that moment. While most people have their smartphone with them at all times, these days they’re not primarily used for taking calls. So, sending a message is a more polite way of telling someone that you need to talk as soon as possible, when they have time, Blum said.
Messaging is better than voicemail too, Blum adds. The problem with voicemail is that it’s easier for people to forget or ignore, whereas a message or an email will remain in someone’s inbox and serve as a reminder for them to get in touch.
By calling someone without notice, it might be inconveniencing someone as it demands their immediate attention when they might be doing something important. Sending a text gives them time to respond when it’s more convenient.
“Especially if you need to discuss something personal or important, you can’t expect someone to have the time to drop everything and focus on your needs,” Blum said.
There are always exceptions, and Blum says that with any really urgent or tragic news it is better to call someone immediately.