Connecting By Phone? Use A Landline And Make An Appointment.

Laurie Ruettimann has a large following and a lot of influence and credibility in the blogging world.  So I’m glad she said it first: Don’t give up your landline phone. (Like my bedroom phone above. :-))

She said this in her presentation for the recently concluded online conference “The Career Summit“, and, in all fairness, she was talking directly to job seekers about how to land a job over the holidays.  While I am sure there were a lot of groans emitted or expletives shouted when she said this (many think landlines are duplicative and expensive),  I think she was right on.  Recruiters and hiring managers want to be able to talk to job seekers over the phone without losing the connection or listening to traffic sounds in the background.  I have been on a conference call where one of the attendees was walking on a busy city street while talking on a cell phone, huffing and puffing as well as cutting in and out.  How much value did he add to that conversation?

Which is another problem that Laurie mentioned: professional conversations need professional attention. People don’t want to talk to someone who has screaming babies or barking dogs in the background.

So, if you want to have a serious phone conversation with me, make an appointment. Really.

Why?  Because I own 4 dogs, and those 4 dogs sometimes often bark when I would prefer they didn’t.  When one barks, they all bark. Dogs, in general, have the mental acuity of a 3 year old child, which means they are most disruptive when they know I am on the phone.  Just like toddlers.  When they start barking, I absolutely cannot hear anyone speaking to me, even on my landline.

I try to make appointments to talk to everyone I seriously want to hear, if the conversation is going to last more than a minute or two.  This way I can isolate the dogs so that I won’t hear them if they start barking, and neither can my conversational partner.  If I am forced to make an appointment when I am only available by cell phone, I make sure I stay in one quiet spot where the cell service is strong and there will be no interruptions.

It takes a little planning (and maintaining a landline adds expense), but the results are well worth it.  Not just for job seekers, but for networking, conferencing, and catching up with old friends.

Send me an email – my address is all over the Web – and set up a time to have a great conversation without interruption.  I welcome it.

What do you think?   Are landlines a waste of your precious resources?  Do you hate listening to screaming children in the background of your phone call? Is making an appointment to have a serious phone conversation overkill

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