If you call my business phone and I’m unavailable, you will get a recording that says I respond fastest to email.
I love email. Like most business owners these days, I prefer it for my primary communications tool.
But email has at least three strikes against it:
- Junk mail filters mysteriously nab email from inboxes.
- People skim email, so it's not good for relaying details.
- Meaning is easily misunderstood if the message isn't clear.
When To Ditch The Email For In-Person, Skype, Or Phone Meetings
There are numerous situations when you must stop typing and start talking. Here are five examples.
Ditch the email when you want to eke out details of an exhibition, event, or teaching opportunity.
It's amazing what we mistakenly assume. If we take the time to ask, our assumptions can be clarified in a short conversation. Questions come up when talking on the phone or in person that never arise in email.
A trust develops when you hear someone’s voice or look into their eyes.
Ditch the email when you want to close the sale.
If someone inquires about your work and you have a number for them, pick up the phone and call. FAST!
No phone number? Send a response email asking when might be a good time to talk.
Your voice will add the personal touch absent from email.
Ditch the email when your message was misunderstood.
Words on the screen often don’t impart the meaning you intended. The reply you received makes it clear that something was lost in translation.
A phone call can clear that up right away and get you back on a path that is mutually beneficial.
Ditch the email when too many messages are flying back and forth!
A meeting, whether it’s on the phone, on Skype, or in person, can save time in the long run.
Email can interrupt your workflow. Meetings do not.
Ditch the email when the customer's order is late or lost.
You goofed or an issue arose with delivery of an order. You are ultimately responsible and need to make it right.
Dial the customer’s number and let it be known that you will take care of it ASAP.
The bottom line: We discern empathy in voices that is hard to get across in email. This empathy helps nurture trust and strengthen relationships.