They say the average number of apps on a phone is about 26 and, of those apps, most of the time being spent is on social and messaging apps. Personally, if you wanted to get a hold of me you could call or text, message via Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat, or message through WhatsApp or GroupMe.
Things aren’t linear anymore. Communication isn’t just talking face-to-face, it’s a tag on an Instagram meme or a Poke through Facebook, it’s complicated.
As millennials, we're used to the different mediums and channels to communicate, but we’re failing at the most basic: TALKING.
In a recent conversation with the CEO of a PR Firm, he said that no one calls to follow up anymore. It’s the simplest things that we overlook. We, Millennials, rather send an email then use our vocal cords. Why? Fear of rejection? Fear of failure?
When it comes to finding a job, fear is normal. Learning to work through that fear is important. It cannot manifest itself in the form of phone-shyness.
Here are the 5 steps you can take to reduce phone-shyness and up your follow up game.
1. Write a speech
It’s much easier to talk when you have talking points in mind. The best things about phone conversations is that no one can tell that you’re in your PJ’s or have a Word doc open with things you want to say.
Use this privacy to your advantage and write what you want to say.
2. Practice Out Loud
More than just typing it out, make sure you practice it out loud. It might read really well in your head, but once you start saying it out loud it probably doesn’t sound the same. Let this be a chance to revise what you have to say and make sure it sounds conversation; more than in step 3.
This also gives you a chance to get comfortable with your voice. Most people dislike how they sound, but we still have to deal with it. Therefore practicing aloud gives you a chance to get familiar with your the sound of your own voice.
3. Remember to Be Human
The person on the other end is going to be a real person (eventually at least). So talk to them like you and they are not robots. Use words you would use in everyday conversation with a coworker or professor.
Remember that some things are going to flow as easily and you’ll need to adlib. Instead of fighting it, just look back at the key points you wanted to say in step 1 and mention those in a new way.
This is the scariest step but at some point, you have to dial. Be prepared that you might encounter automated machines so you should have the extension ready or their name spelled right if dial by name directory is an option. Depending on who you’re trying to reach, you might not get their direct line. Instead, you might end up speaking with a receptionist asking to take a note.
5. Accept the Voicemails
With every call, there’s going to be a huge chance of getting a voicemail, a receptionist, or a rejection. That’s OK! Take every call with as an opportunity to perfect your game. And if it’s a straight ‘no’ from the other end, then at least you didn’t waste your time so appreciate that.
Calling is hard, calling and knowing you’re likely to not speak to who you wanted to contact is harder but at the end, it’s a truth we need to face. Emails can only go so far; calls can be impactful. Next time you’re at your wit's end, not knowing if you got the job, if they received your application, if she/he wants to go out with you - call.
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