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Should You Text That Client Before Calling?

February 8, 2021

When you have an established relationship with a client or peer, are you obligated to call them immediately when you need to talk? Some business experts say they’re ditching phone calls in favor of texting clients first.

“Barring some exceptions, you should try sending a text prior to calling someone on the phone,” writes Sam Blum, a staff writer with Lifehacker.com. “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.”

A phone call can feel like an interruption and an immediate demand for another person’s time, Blum says. A person may always have their mobile phone, but it is not primarily used for taking phone calls these days. A text message can act as a polite suggestion to talk more as soon as they get a chance, Blum adds.

Voicemail feels more temporary and is easier to forget or ignore. A text or even an email can remain in an inbox as a reminder to contact you back.

Calling without notice could be viewed as an inconvenience or intrusive as it requires full attention while sending a text lets a contact respond to quick questions or set up a time to talk further.

“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 writes.

But Blum says there are exceptions where a phone call makes sense first, such as delivering urgent or tragic news. In those cases, call first, he says.

You Should Text Before Calling,” LifeHacker.com (Feb. 4, 2021)