What clear signals do you suppose you’re missing?

I had a few little electrical projects that needed to be done around the house. So I turned to my Angie’s List favorites.

Once I found the right business, I had an array of choices in terms of how I wanted to connect with them.  I clicked on the email icon and jotted a quick note, describing exactly what I needed to have fixed.

Within a few hours the electrician emailed me back with this message: “Sounds good Drew, give me a call to discuss.”

Um, no.  I didn’t accidentally click on the email icon.  I made a conscious choice.  It’s not that I am anti-phone.  Heck…ask AT&T how pro-phone I am.  But, during business hours, I just don’t have time to talk to him.  I’m in meetings, on the phone with clients and on the run.  Which is why I emailed him to begin with.

What could have been an easy sale is now tangled up because he didn’t pay attention to the very clear signal I sent.  I don’t have time to call him…so odds are, the work just won’t get done for a little while.  A lost sale.

What clear signals do you suppose you’re missing?

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3 comments on “What clear signals do you suppose you’re missing?

  1. Fascinating. When I think of the time, money and effort we all spend on trying to get someone to raise their hand, its shocking that anyone would make that type of mistake. So, I’ll certainly be paying closer attention to how we manage this for ourselves and for our clients!

  2. Drew, Just because you emailed an electrician you expect that the whole transaction of business will happen by email? As the electrician, I wouldn’t assume so unless you specified in your email that this is the only form of communication you want. The electrician doesn’t know how busy you are unless you told him. He may value doing business by phone, to hear your voice. Maybe you didn’t sent a very clear signal to him as you think. Just a thought.

  3. I had to laugh about the electrician because that’s happened to me before. I can’t tell you how often I’ve e-mailed some company a question only to receive a phone call 5 minutes later from their sales department. To me, that’s rude. I believe the etiquette is that one converses in the method the customer initiates, until the customer gives permission for something else.

    However, I can see the other side. I don’t agree with it, and I think it’s outdated, but I can see it. Many people still believe that the telephone trumps all other forms of communication. They just can’t see having a serious conversation over the infernal interwebs.

    Then again, I’m guilty of it, too. When texting someone runs past two or three messages back and forth, I just make a phone call. It’s just easier for me.

    Maybe the contractor was a really slow typist.

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