Don't Rely On Email

I found my head nodding along with the sentiments of a recent LA Times article documenting the backlash against email.  Here’s three (of several eligible) quotes to give you a flavour:

  • email … stimulates forward motion but doesn’t necessarily mean action
  • email is used as a self-validation tool by people to recreate activity as opposed to productivity
  • e-mail shall henceforth be known as e-fail

I can hear in my mind thousands of sales managers ranting about these kinds of things when salesreps mistake discussion for progression.

The message is clear.  Does sending an email actually get you anywhere?  Where’s the explicit prospect commitment in them just receiving an email?  Or even in sending one back?  How often do you send a lovingly crafted, comprehensive email, yet never knowingly nail whether it was either read or had the desired impact?

There’s always been a movement that email should only be used in selling for two of its early intended uses.  Namely passing drafts of work around and for confirming recent/upcoming events.  I edge towards this thinking.  All too often email is deployed as the mechanism to make things happen.  When this occurs, I think the goal is doomed.

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