One of my favorite blog sites, The Art of Manliness, published a great post on whether single mean asking a woman for a date should call or text. Since sales is almost perfectly analogous to dating, the same question arises in our business every day: do I call or text?
Years ago, when texting was charged on a per text basis, many users were upset when they received a text they did not want. The younger age cohort, however, only grew up with free texting and is by its nature less intimate in its communication and many find phone calls too pushy. Today Americans send 5 times more texts than phone calls. So, lets evaluate the options. Many customers tune into the channel “phone,” many text, or email. In addition, many customers consider Facebook the internet, and Facebook messenger message as their primary method of communication. Others send or consider LinkedIn messages as higher priority than emails. The challenge to all of these, as in any relationship issue, is not which is correct but which is my customer counting as correct.
The Pros of Calling
Calling shows maturity and courage, both in dating and in business. Many business people use social media to hide, and calling puts you forward. Particularly for a real estate agent presenting themselves as strong and in control, a phone call will be attractive to a motivated customer looking for assistance.
More personal. The phone call can start the rapport and begins the process of learning the communication style of the customer
The Cons of Calling
Calling people the first time can be awkward. Many times we don’t know enough to start a conversation. Calling can at times seem forward if the customer is not looking yet to start a conversation. Finally, since phone calls have become so much rarer, it can appear as too aggressive in some circumstances.
The Pros of Texting
Texts are easier to send and less anxiety-inducing, and allows both parties to be more comfortable. Texts also allow both parties to be comfortable, letting both sides gather their thoughts and choose words carefully.
The Cons of Texting
Texts can seem less personal, or make the customer feel you are too busy to call or respond immediately if you delay in your response. It may also come across as shy and lacking confidence.
OK, so should I call or text?
Some good general rules:
Customer is over 40
You have a strong reason for calling
You are looking to present yourself as a listing agent capable of handling their transaction
Customer is under 30
Answering routing business communication (showing instructions to coop agent, escrow details)
OK, those are some general rules. What are yours?