Have you communicated with emailers who ignore the questions you asked? To then reply with additional questions for you? Enough to drive you crazy, right?
It’s Called Inefficiency
If these contacts were face-to-face, they would be required to listen to what you have to say. They would then respond to that information. Bingo! You have the information you need.
However, with email, they can ignore your side of the “conversation” to continue the discussion in the direction they prefer. Or to reply to only that which they find important.
In my experience, those who communicate in this manner tend not to be good customers, partners or providers. Email requires your full attention to detail. It should not to be approached with any less detail than any other mode of business communication.
Ask a question they don’t like; they ignore you. Point out an issue of concern and that too gets overlooked. But that doesn’t stop them from typing back about what they prefer to focus on. Selective replies abound.
Is this the type of communicator you want to do business with? Probably not. Is this the type of communicator you want to be known as? Nope.
Folks who communicate in this manner make me inefficient. And, I hate being made inefficient. Don’t you?
The saying that the “customer is always right” does not give tacit permission to ignore requests or sidestep issues. Same goes for the other side! Especially if the topic at hand goes to the core of doing business with you. Do you want to be that customer/coworker/provider who is known to be difficult to communicate with? That could be the kiss of death for your business.
Being a Good Business Partner
Part of being a good business partner is showing respect for others time. This requires reviewing each email and responding point by point. It does not mean ignoring what you want to avoid or are not ready to discuss.
If you are sent an email that you do not yet have the answers for, or are unable to respond to, reply and state as much. The last thing you want to do is be a one-way communicator! That bodes well for the relationship building process. A process so critical to successful business partnerships.
When I email with individuals who communicates in this manner, I can count on the fact that they are probably disorganized in everything else that they do. Back to the inefficiency thing. In my case, I have actually chosen to not encourage business relationships based on initial communications that reflect this.
There is no reason to not be an organized and efficient email communicator. This is business after all! How you chose to respond to emails will be a window into what it will be like to do business with you.
How to Foster Efficient Communications
If you want to be taken seriously, be clear about specifically what you need out of the conversation. When you reply to emails, check that your response addresses the concerns and questions of those you are replying to. Point by point. Don’t leave them wondering. Strive to be the epitome of efficiency!
Do not underestimate the importance of taking the time and making the effort to communicate like a detail orientated professional.