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Sep 29, 2014

What Not Replying to Emails Says About Your Business

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 time or the consideration 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… You receive hundreds of emails, but what I don’t get is that you feel not responding to a personal email, request, note etc.. is OK. Even if you are so busy, replying four weeks later (or never!) is not acceptable and its certainly not a good reflection on your business.

A lack of response comes off as rude. I email introduce business owners I have known for years and they won’t even reply back to one another. 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 couldn’t care less that you reached out to me.”

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.

To those of you who are trying to reach out and hoping for an email reply here is what I suggest to my consulting clients.

4 Ways to Manage Your Email Expectations

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 a quick email? And do you want to send your clients to them if they already can’t get back to you?

Even if I am not going to hire a job applicant that reaches out, or I know a new client inquiry isn’t a fit for me – I always do my best (and make sure my staff does their best) to give them the respect and courtesy of a timely response. You deserve that too. Don’t waste your time with those that don’t give you that.

 

For more tips like these and to learn how to take your business to the next level, reach out about my business consulting program.  Can’t wait to connect with you!

XO, Leila

  • Kelsey S.

    I 100% agree with this post. In the wedding industry (any industry really) it also applies to responding in a timely manner to your clients. My #1 pet peeve during my wedding planning this year was vendors that would take forever or not reply until I emailed multiple times and texted. Absolutely unacceptable!

  • Karla

    Yeahhhhh guilty of this. I feel so bad! Definitely need to hire someone, at least part time. The business is great, it’s just hard to keep up!

    • It’s an exciting step to have so much business that you need an assistant though! Congrats Karla!

  • Megan Clouse

    I love this and agree!! I’d like to also add that (1) I find businesses make it very difficult to reach them by email by only having a form to reach them. This is not helpful to me 99% of the time. (2) I find that my emails have some strange tendency to go into peoples spam folders even when I’m replying, so I beg people to either turn off spam or check it every other day.

    • Yes, the spam catcher!! Always check your spam for important business inquiries 🙂 And totally agree that it’s helpful to actually have an email on your site instead of just a form!

  • Martha

    This post seriously speaks to me! It hurts my feelings when people don’t respond to me – I can’t help but take it personally! Taking a few minutes to respond in a timely manner can really change the way I view your business.

    • Agreed! As a business, you should seem available (within normal business hours) or else why would someone want to work with you!?

  • Sheryl

    Ahhh “the art of the follow up”…an art I know all too well! Respond and then I won’t have to harass you! 😉

  • Brenda

    I definitely agree with this and love my canned responses. But some emails that I know are from those “china” dress sites or pr promos that aren’t even related to my business do get deleted without a reply. There’s some emails that you simply have to weed out to make room for the ones that deserve attention.

    • Yes, of course! Always delete spam, etc first, helps to clear out the inbox and not feel so overwhelming!

  • Becky

    Definitely not always possible for me.. but a great rule of thumb to strive for!

    • Very true! Sometimes it helps to give yourself some guidelines like a 24-48 hour rule, etc! 🙂

  • renee

    If someone doesn’t reply my email, should I just call instead? I think I have a block in me, I prefer to email than phone call. I’m afraid to talk on the phone maybe because English is not my first language. My husband kept telling me that email is not the way to do business. If you want to get things done, talk to someone on the phone. For example, I took pics for someone, sent her the gallery link a week ago, never heard anything back. Today I sent an email to ask for her feedback. Hope sometimes next week she will reply me. Should I call instead? What should I do?

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