Recently I read a rant from one of my colleagues who was tired of people not responding to e-mail. I know exactly what he means. It happens so often that it seems now to be acceptable and perhaps even fashionable to not reply to an email - even between client and company, or family members, or friends.
Before you get as mad as my colleague did, (which I don't blame him for) - if you are a seller or other business professional making a living building relationships through communication, stop and think about a couple of things first.
1. Most people are reading their e-mail via smartphone or other mobile device. As we all know, e-mail messages come in chronological order - and as more come in, they scroll down to the black abyss. Yon are out on the road, see an email from someone you mean to reply to, but you are about to go into a meeting. The meeting happens, time elapses, the message goes toward the abyss.
SOLVE THIS ISSUE BY ASSIGNING EMAIL TO FOLDERS, dealing with that email daily, and CLEARING OUT YOUR INBOX EVERYDAY. No can do? Find A WAY to not lose important messages that need to be responded to in order for you to be seen as professional. It is a MUST DO. Your professional reputation is on the line. Follow through on every email.
Deals have been lost because of poor email communication - and certainly business relationships are lost daily because of it.
2. Use a device first created in 1876 - the phone - to reach your future customers, current customers, strategic partners, and vendors. By leaving a voice mail, you leave your message via your voice, which adds a dimension and is more apt to make an impact than just an email. Plus, every day, people are still NOT receiving all the email that is sent. E-mail goes into SPAM folders and it gets tossed in with hundreds of other messages. To be safe, with an important message, first send an e-mail then leave a voice mail. (or vice versa)
If you are a sales professional - don't get angry - get even. Instead of feeling like people will reply to you only when they want something - knock them off their homeostasis and double up your messaging - there will be no excuse on their part that they didn't get it - and it will help you continue conversations better.
Do your part to build and grow relationships - and be professional. Follow up on all the e-mail coming to you, plus reach out in bigger, more unique ways to get conversations further along - ultimately to a win for all parties.
Lori Richardson speaks, writes, and trains on sales strategies for B2B mid-market technology front-line sales teams. Why not sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter, “Sales Ideas In A Minute” or the award-winning blog rss feed?