Good Monday Morn!
I hope you had a great Independence Day celebration (Albeit wet) and are ready to slide back into “Real Life.”
How many emails do you receive every day?
Of those emails you receive, how many do you actually read?
Of those emails your read, how many of them result in taking some kind of action?
Now . . . Let’s ask the same questions for:
- Snail Mail – US Postal Service
- Text Message
- Facebook Message
- Linkedin Message
How ’bout telephone calls? Do you screen all of your calls and only answer the ones you “feel like answering” or do you pick up ALL of them?
How do you know if that unfamiliar Caller ID # is important or a telemarketer?
In this crazy world of myriad communication platforms, we couldn’t possibly respond to everything we receive because that would leave us little (or NO) time for doing things that matter relative to our personal and business lives.
What if you were to set up some “Rules” for your communication preferences?
Could you set some boundaries for all of those folks attempting to engage you so as to be able to give them your attention commensurate with the relevance and importance to what they/you need NOW?
- Create a block of time each day (8-11 AM) during which you don’t answer ANY incoming communications whatsoever. Let everyone in your world know that they can call, text, email, tweet, instagram, and send smoke signals at any time during that 3 hour period, and you’ll get back to them.
- Turn off all “Desktop Notifications” and check Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media sites 3 times every day – early every morning (before 8) – Mid-day – and after 3.
- If someone REALLY needs something IMPORTANT during this “black-out” time, tell them to send a text.
- To avoid the time-waster of having to listen to long voice mail messages (and then to hear it all again when you return the call) . . . ask folks to leave SHORT messages – If they REALLY need to speak with, leave a message like: “Hi It’s Jim, Call me please!”
- When they simply want to leave information, ask them to begin their message with: “Hi Barry! No need to call me back . . . Then leave the information” That let’s you know you need to listen to the whole message.
After my “Black Out” period each day, I Call back EVERY missed call in my phone’s call log.
I know this sounds somewhat regimented, but are you OK with incessant interruptions as you go through your days?
Do you believe EVERYONE should ALWAYS be able to reach you IMMEDIATELY?
If so . . . When and HOW do you find any space for FOCUS?
How do you get anything done?
Of course, you’ll have to first train yourself to follow your own rules . . . then you’ll have to train everyone else in your world. That’s not as difficult as you might think. As long as you are setting proper expectations up-front and then walking your talk, they’ll get it and appreciate it.
This blog post is not as much about handling your volume of incoming communications as it is about what you do with the ones that DO show up.
When you have your marketing hat on and want to communicate effectively with future and current clients, Odds are decent those folks to whom you are marketing have similar habits and pet peeves as you.
Given that . . . What’s the best way to get YOUR attention?
Market more THAT way!
(BTW – the only right answer is the one that works best)
Oh yeah! I mentioned “Snail Mail” in the title . . .
In this cacophonous world of raplexity, I believe the “Old School” way of communicating through direct mail has more validity now than it has in the recent past . . . Because it costs money, you are likely going to pay closer attention to the message and to whom you send it . . . and the recipients are more likely to READ IT . . . ESPECIALLY if it’s a hand-written note.
Hoping you have a great week this week.