— by Michelle Beauchamp

Have you been as frustrated as I have with the lack of replies when you send e-mails? What happens to them? They’re like socks that disappear in the dryer.

I recently sent several e-mails to promote a workshop and wasn’t getting replies. Honestly, I started to get a little ticked. I wondered, would it be too much to expect that you shoot back a quick reply? How about the truth? – meaning if you aren’t interested, just say so.

I’ve contemplated this quite a bit. How can we generate effective communication and remove the frustration? Remember that song by Aretha Franklin? That’s what I’m talking about: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Let’s consider the expectations, reality, and solutions from the perspectives of both the sender and the recipient.

Expectation: (Sender) You sent an e-mail that’s informative or requests input. You expect a reply because of interest in the subject or just out of common courtesy. (Recipient) You received an e-mail in which you have an interest. You’ll get to it later. If you have no interest, it’s okay to ignore it.

Reality: The recipient has likely gotten 30+ e-mails today and yours doesn’t stand out. You’re on the receiving end of too many yourself, so you know this is true. (Even so, it’s NOT okay to ignore it.)

Several days go by without any reply. You wonder what to do next.

Solutions: Send another e-mail with a more urgent subject line and add “Action Requested.” Say that you’re worried, “Maybe my e-mail went to junk mail.” Or send a text, call to leave a message, or have a quick conversation asking the recipient to check her in-box. Truthfully, the e-mail could have gone to spam and neither of you would ever know it.

How you write your e-mail in the first place can promote responsiveness. Keep your e-mail brief and put the most important point in the first sentence. Make it about the recipient. As the person receiving that kind of e-mail, would you be spurred to respond? Would the short/point-driven style make a difference?

The thing to remember is this: people are not generally trying to be disrespectful. They’re just too darned busy. So we must make our communications a priority for them. We’re all at the buffet with plates too full and running over. And for those who receive e-mails, especially from people you know, imagine yourself on the other side and take a moment to acknowledge them. It’s time to help each other TCB! (take care of business).

It’s a sign of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

michelle-beauchamp-thumbnailMichelle Beauchamp, Principal of The Champ Group, uses her 25+ years in sales and her experience in training and coaching to equip business owners, sales teams, and sales professionals with tools to help them sell their products and services. Michelle and The Champ Group create opportunities for you to: Learn. Grow. Succeed.