I'm lucky to work in a growing industry where people ask me a ton of questions.
I can't agree to every call, saying yes to all would be overwhelming!
Too many requests
I get tons of call requests on Twitter, LinkedIn or by email:
(...) Would you be available for a 15min talk about it? Thanks!
(...) Can we have a call in the coming days to discuss opportunities?
(...) How about a quick meeting/call next week?
Not enough context
Most requests are first contacts and are generic/lack context.
People schedule intro calls because that's what business etiquette requires.
30' intro call means 15' of introducing each other, then 15' of exchanging context.
Most of those conversations would be better asynchronous
How I reduced my calls by 50%
I've been using this canned response:
Here's a variation I use when I'm asked for written interviews:
"Thanks! Remotive is now an asynchronous company: If you're open to emailing your questions, I'll email back with a voice recording of my answers!"
12 months later, few learnings:
- Nearly everyone has a positive response to this message.
- 75% email me back, 25% don't.
- Few of those who email me continue pushing for a call.
- People who can't email what they need are likely to be high maintenance.
I still hop on calls for infrequent chats with the Remotive team, catching up with friends and few major business deals.
Another exception is when for-profit companies want a call, I ask them to donate.
Here's my thinking:
When for-profit companies ask me to do a research call / panel discussion /interview... with the intent of (re)selling what I have to say, I ask those companies to donate what my fee would have been to non-profit companies.
Here's my other template:
How much I ask varies depending how much effort it takes me. Some people don't like this much, that's OK. Companies who see the value tend to enjoy it.