Email is how today’s business world communicates. Companies that only want face to face meetings or phone calls will find that it’s becoming harder and harder to make them happen. In a digital world, where time has become more limited, we resort to sending an email because it can be more efficient.
It’s hard enough to get someone to return a voicemail, but now it seems people don’t have the respect to actually respond to each other by computer, ipad, cell phone, or any other device that we all know is strapped to them at any given moment.
I get it… They get hundreds of emails – OK maybe they are even so popular that they get thousands, but what I don’t get is that they feel not responding to a personal email, request, note etc.. is OK. That because they are so busy, they just will get back to you four weeks later, or never!
My stance? It’s rude. I email introduce business owners I have known for years and they won’t even reply back to the other. It’s happening to so many brands I know in the wedding business and to my clients and consulting clients. It’s a blatant lack of respect for one another and their time. When you don’t respond to an email, you are basically saying I could care less that you reached out to me.
Who does that? Well, I don’t need to ask that question.. many of us do it. Everyday. AND to a lot of nice, excited, kind people that deserve a reply.
Now if you get that many emails and truly don’t have time to respond to business inquiries, partnerships or media, then it’s clearly time for you to consider get an assistant who can help you manage them. I know we have lives outside of work – yay for spouses and families and hobbies after 5 p.m., but it’s not an excuse to be poorly managing your time and business.
To you business owners and kind hearts and souls who are trying to reach out and hoping for an email reply, here is what I suggest to my consulting clients and now to many of you:
1) Keep it Short and Sweet: Don’t send a long email when you are trying to connect with someone who is probably very busy. They will get overwhelmed by a lot of information, and if they don’t have time they will freeze and just not respond for awhile… which could turn into never!
2) If they don’t respond- give it a week and follow up again. Don’t be afraid to practice the art of “the follow up”.
3) If they still don’t respond – give it another week or 2 and follow up again. It’s nice to give others the benefit of the doubt- maybe they never saw the original email, or it went to their junk mail, or they were on vacation and are just catching up and need a few extra days to reply.
4) After 3 times of reaching out with complete radio silence, it’s time to move on.
Think to yourself… do you want to do business with someone who won’t even return an email or a phone call? Or do you want to send your clients to those kinds of people? I don’t! It’s offensive. It can be hurtful and I don’t really have tolerance for it.
Even if I am not going to hire an applicant that reaches out, or I know a new client inquiry isn’t a fit for me, or a media outlet wants to interview a client and I know they will not want to do the interview – I always, always, always, do my best (and make sure my staff does their best) to give them the respect and courtesy of timely response. They are human beings, just like you and me and they deserve that respect. So do you.