No one expects “instant access” today. (Remember, some of you, the old “pink slip” telephone messages someone would leave for you after answering your phone?) The problem is that too many people provide instant access via their smart phones. This enables all the wrong behavior, besides being totally obnoxious (“Excuse me, I have to take this”—because it’s more important than you are).
What’s required today is “rapid response.” When I return calls within 90 minutes during eastern business hours I’m often told, “Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.” (And I return email inquiries usually within a couple of hours.)
I also provide my best clients with “unrestricted access,” meaning they don’t need an appointment and there’s no investment decision to be made in order to contact me. And they know they probably won’t reach me immediately, but they’ll hear from me quickly. And that’s fine with them.
The next guy who stops our conversation in a hotel lobby when his phone rings and says, “I have to take this,” will be the next guy I walk away from.