I don’t know about you, but there are times when I just want to pick up the phone and call someone. Just today I wanted to call a colleague to do a quick check-in on something. But, I was stopped dead in my tracks.
What Stopped Me?
It was something simple. Something so easy to fix. Yet, clearly had not crossed this persons mind. I know for a fact they are conscientious and want to engage. What stopped me was the fact that they did not include their phone number anywhere in their email.
Is this a Show Stopper?
Generally no. However, after taking a few minutes to scroll thru their email and an entire email thread I had been using to communicate with them I realized there was no phone number anywhere. I have found the same thing to be true when searching for people on Social Media. Some people have common names. Forcing me to suss them out on the various Social Media channels is not a great use of my time and may lead me to make an incorrect assumption and tag or tweet to the wrong person. Make it easy for me. Make it easy for anyone else that wants to contact you or otherwise engage with you. Put your contact coordinates out there for all to consume. After all your contact details are part of your personal and professional branding.
Some might say… So What? Some might say that if someone wants to contact them they’ll find a way. Or that they only put the information they want others to use. This is as it should be. You should only post the contact details you are comfortable sharing. However, you should be consistent in the way to put your information out there. A few points are listed below to highlight a few areas where insuring your contact information is available are important. I’m sure there are many other examples. If you have a particular favorite please drop it in the comments.
- Self-Promotion – Putting your contact information in every email (and every communication) is about the softest and easiest form of self promotion you can do. And guess what… People WANT this. When they want to find you… Make It Easy!
- Job Search – This is especially true if you are looking for your next job.
- Productivity – Killing someone else’s productivity by forcing them to search for your contact information is NOT a great way to engender trust and a desire to work with you.
A Simple Fix
Assuming you do in fact want people to reach out to you in the way they are comfortable doing. This one simple change may make you that much more accessible. Which by extension may make you easier to connect with on both a personal and professional level. Which could make you much more successful at engaging with customers, partners and colleagues.
The Simple Fix
It’s easy. Add your signature information to all of your email communications. That’s it. Add the contact information you want people to know about you. The key is… add this to EVERY communication that you put out there. The added few bits of information will make it much easier when that person you really want to connect with can easily and quickly find your contact details.
In my case I have my name, email, phone, Blog, Twitter and LinkedIn information.
You may prefer to offer more or less. That’s your choice.
The Simple Fix: Take the time today to learn how to create a Signature File on the email program of your choice. Every email app supports this option. Your task is to learn how to use this tool effectively. Your career may depend upon it.
Reality (Time) Check
If there are times you don’t want to be disturbed on your phone that’s OK. Set those times, set the expectations, and adjust your schedule accordingly. However, one thing you can be sure of… if you don’t make it easy for people to contact you… they won’t.
Being more accessible may not be the most important thing you do today. However, most people I work with and have worked with for many years do want to be contacted and do make it easy to connect with them in the way I want. Whether that’s via the phone, email or via Social Media channels. The point is… let people connect with you the way you are comfortable with AND the way they want to connect with you.
Will this help you Stand Out in Your Career? I’d like to think the simple answer is yes. When people can find you they are more likely to connect with you. Of course, the opposite is also true too. Please, make it easy to connect. The Simple Fix is an easy way to get started. Do it today!