If you’re a businessperson, relationships and partnerships are a key part of getting things done. Communication is one of the most important components of successful working relationships. Yet all the communication technology we’ve invented has actually made it harder to communicate. We have so many options, we don’t know how to connect.
A friend and I decided to schedule a meeting recently. He has three phone numbers, four IM accounts, three email addresses, a Skype account, a Facebook, and a Google Plus account. It took an entire conversation using two forms of email to decide which medium to use for our real conversation next week. Too much choice is making it harder and harder to reach each other. This is not progress.
If you want to spend your time forging relationships and getting work done with other people, choose a single email address, a single phone number, and a single IM account, and give those out as your contact information. Of those ways of contact, decide which one you prefer and let people know. You can even put it on your business card: “Email preferred” or “Please text me” or “Voice is best.” That way, when people need to reach you, they know exactly where and how to do it. It also means you know where to go to process your inbox, rather than having to check a dozen different places.