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Face it. Emails are frustrating. No matter where we go, emails follow. They are like a shadow. At home. At work. In the car on the way. Even on vacation.
People in large corporations live from one email to the next. Emails announce meetings. Emails bring problems and questions. Sometime, a joke to relieve the pressure.
People in small business don't pay attention so closely. I've sent emails to owners of small businesses and several days passed before I received a response. These were people I knew and who knew me.
Example: Mary is a hypnotherapist. She sees clients privately for several problems--weight reduction and eating habits, stopping smoking, and pain management following surgery. She did not check her emails for several days one week. When she did, she found a 3-day old email from a local surgeon proposing an on-going relationship between them to handle patients with pain problems. When Mary followed up, it was too late. The surgeon had made other arrangements, thinking that Mary was not running a serious business.
Example: Sue is a potter. She works in her home studio turning out pots and plates with special glazes she has developed. Her work has attracted attention, especially after a friend talked her into putting up a website and posting on Facebook. Emails came in, but Sue had trouble remembering to check them. When she did, she found that she had missed the deadline date to be included in a major museum showing the works of up-and-coming potters. Sue learned a valuable lesson.
Example: Steve runs a home improvements business. On a Friday, he completed a major kitchen renovation for a happy client. Or so he thought. That night he neglected to check his emails--Steve and his wife were taking a long weekend off. When he did check his emails the following Monday, he found 6 emails from his kitchen client. The first one asked Steve to call because there was a problem with the plumbing. The last one informed Steve that the client had put a stop on the payment check.
Emails are not a passing fancy. They have become an integral and vital part of our lives--in personal and business relationships. Emails are here to stay.
If you don't communicate with your clients/customers, you can miss valuable opportunities. Read those emails frequently. Responding promptly shows you are there for your clients/customers. It shows you're on top of your game.