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Is Asking Permission to Call Someone – The New Norm for Social Business Networking?

June 24, 2017

The other day, I was talking on an Internet forum which was a discussion group attached to one of those social business networking websites. After talking to one individual back and forth, I went on to a different category to have another conversation about something else. As I was finishing up that conversation, the individual from the first exchange of information called me on the phone to talk to me in person.

Apparently he had looked up my information online, and took it upon himself to call me right then and there. The reality is, I really didn’t feel like talking to him on the phone, and I thought it was fairly forward of him to assume that I wanted to, okay so let’s talk about this for second shall we? What is the proper etiquette and protocol for contacting someone by phone after talking to them online on a social network? Remember, things have changed a lot.

Just because you are talking to someone doesn’t mean they want to be your friend, or even care to talk to you ever again. Perhaps the reason they are engaging in this type of communication online is so that they can have someone to kick their ideas around with, but they aren’t necessarily looking for a business connection, new friend, or wanting to take that conversation to another level.

In fact, I would submit to you that most people who participate in online forums wish to express their opinion, set the record straight for someone else’s opinion, learn new information about an industry or topic, answer questions, and ask questions. However, they may not be looking for someone to physically connect with, and really a phone call is one step away from a personal meeting.

Likewise, far too many salesmen use these Internet forums to attempt to find potential buyers for their products and services, or worse, they are trying to sell you on a multilevel marketing scheme. Therefore, often they are taken aback if you call them up without asking permission first. Indeed, it seems to be the new norm that if you are talking to someone online, and want to talk to them further, that you invite them to call you, or you suggest that maybe in the future at some point that you initiate a telephone conversation.

Taking it one step further without such understanding is akin to impeding on someone’s personal space was standing behind them at the ATM. Folks must understand that talking online with someone is not the same as talking on the phone, or meeting someone in person. And they should also understand that some people communicate online for a reason, and that’s as far is they are willing to take it. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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