Like most people of this planet, I use email for daily personal and business correspondence. It is a great tool to track conversation and to stay on task in a timely manner. But email has its own dark side, admit it, you know what I'm talking about. See if you are guilty of any of these examples...even if only once.
1. You email someone because they are a talker and you fear that you will get involved in a lengthy non-productive conversation.
2. You use email because face-to-face confrontations are uncomfortable.
3. You use email because you want to quickly move on to something on your own agenda, you don't want to take the time to communicate clearly and thoroughly regarding someone else's agenda and you rush off a "response" because after all, you don't want to appear as to be "not engaged".
4. You fear rejection, so rather than call that prospect, you email them.
This list could go on and on, however for the sake of time, perhaps on this first worday of 2016 we need to take just a moment to reflect and to get real about how we use email in our life.
I witness lengthy "threads" of correspondence with multiple parties involved hack through complex ideas and plans when perhaps a 20 minute, preplanned meeting could bring all the issues to the floor for discussion and immediate resolution. Collectively these parties can spend 20 minutes each on reading, rereading and writing their email threads rather than one 20 minute meeting for all. Do you see how this is eating up your workday? Do you see how a group of 8 times 20 minute is 160 minutes total, amounts to over 2.5 hours of corporate involvement over the expanse of the group vs. 20 or even 30 minutes total on a prepped meeting or conference call?
I see threads become long, convoluted volleys back and forth between 2 (or more) parties when a phone conversation could have gotten all the questions asked and answered in one conversation and a decision could be made on the spot. In sales, this volley eats up the sales time cycle and avoids "closing the deal."
Only 7% of communication takes place with words, the other 93% takes place through body language and tonality. Considering how easy for miscommunication to take place in an email where no tonality is heard, no smiles are seen and no twinkling eyes are witnessed, I would imagine the effectiveness of an email's communication is even less than 7% in many cases. Who hasn't had that email correspondence that went sideways?
Remember the adage..."Time is money..."? You can always make more money but you can't make more time, so use your time efficiently and effectively.
- Deal direct whenever possible. Use the phone, conference calls and online meetings preferably with the video feature ON.
- Prep your meetings in advance notifying all parties so that they can attend it prepared having their homework done and they are ready for effective contribution.
- Utilize 100% of your communication tools in a sales situation, this involves all of you, preferably in person, to get the job done today.