People don’t call out of the blue these days. They text or email first.
“Are you busy? Do you have a few minutes? Can I give you a call?”
Which is why a friend of mine was struck when he got an unexpected call from a media mogul.
The phone rang and my friend picked it up to a familiar Australian twang: “It’s Rupert Murdoch.”
They knew of each other, but had never met.
Murdoch is famous for directly calling reporters, competitors and other people knowledgeable about things that interest him. His goal is to try and rustle up intelligence.
Murdoch called my friend out of the blue, but he wasn’t calling for no reason.
He had heard my friend’s company was considering an expansion into an area Murdoch knew well. Murdoch called with a question, but offered some free advice: the deal was a “bad idea.” The market was too small, not very profitable and too far away.
Murdoch’s self-serving message was funny, but his communication style was dead serious.
By calling directly and without warning, he managed to establish a level of connection and excitement about the meeting. He made it memorable.
Most executives would have an assistant call and say: “Please hold for Mr. Murdoch.”
The 60 seconds the assistant saves for the sake of efficiency is a huge missed opportunity. It’s simply not the same experience.
And they would schedule the meeting days or weeks in advance to avoid any disruption.
There’s no drama in that.
Murdoch understands that HOW you meet matters, not just WHAT you discuss.
You don’t have to be a media billionaire to leverage this insight.
Being efficient is not always being effective.