Are You Relying on Email Too Much?
Let me just start by admitting that I’m guilty of relying too much on email as a tool for business communication. I’d much rather fire off an email to a client or prospect than pick up the phone to call them or take the time to meet with them face to face.
I like using email because I can compose my thoughts, keep the conversation focused, document everything easily, and avoid spending a lot of time chatting about things that don’t add to my bottom line as tends to happen on phone calls and physical meetings.
But the truth is that relying too much on email for communication can be dangerous. There are times when it really is better for business to pick up the phone or schedule a face-to-face meeting.
Here are some examples.
- Following up with a prospect—Most times, whenever I get a lead, I’ll email the prospect. In a lot of cases, I’m able to close the sale through email alone, but there are certain times when I’ve lost a sale because I emailed the prospect when I should have called them instead. A phone call lets you get in touch immediately, before they have the chance to get one of your competitors on the phone; whereas an email might not get read in time.
- Resolving a customer complaint—There’s really just no substitute for person-to-person contact, whether it be by phone or face to face. This is especially true in a delicate situation where a customer is angry at you. Emails are often just too impersonal for resolving a dispute with a customer and winning them back. Talking to them on the phone or in person lets them see that you really do care about them and are trying to do whatever you can to rectify the situation.
Be honest with yourself. Are you relying too much on email for communicating with customers and prospects?