Stop Writing That Email

With a spate of Facebook related horrors involving crimes against children hitting the London press these past few days, one news show talking head stated a remarkable stat.

Dr Aric Sigman mentioned a formula suggesting that for every one hour of time a child spends on social networking sites, they miss out on half-an-hour of real face-to-face interaction.

When I thought about it in sales terms, this was startling.

I’ve often been in salesrooms where reps, whether consciously or not, bury themselves in their email under the illusion that they are making something happen. I know how long it can take to craft winning prose that you consider spellbinding for your prospect. It can be a very long time.

Yet anyone else looking in will doubtless question just how much of an impact what is written will make. In the context of the time taken on it, the answer can often render the initial effort redundant.

So is a similar formula at play in sales?

For each hour spent agonising over an email response, aren’t you missing out on the impact that an amount of real-life interaction would bring?

I suspect so. And I’d go further. I bet that a smaller amount of non-screen communication would have significantly greater punch than over double that computer-tied time.

Of course, there are times when you simply must put something in writing. But I sense we’re veering too much into overload here and could do with reining in the temptation to email. Especially when decisions are only really influenced on the phone or in front of someone.

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