EXCERPT from The Sales Playbook
Do you have a love-hate relationship with your email? If so, you aren’t alone. Email is great because it helps us communicate instantly, both professionally and socially. But there is just so much of it. Responding to emails can feel like a job in itself. Anything can pop into your inbox and suddenly it has your attention. Sometimes it’s warranted but other times it’s a relentless distraction. Luckily, there are a few systems for answering emails effectively and not letting your inbox derail your productivity.
The “At-Work” Away Message:
If you’ve ever emailed me, you know I only reply to emails twice a day once in the morning and once before I leave the office. You know that because I have an out-of-office automated reply for all emails I receive. Here’s a sample of my away message:
“To serve our clients best I check emails twice daily, at 11am and
then again at 4pm est. I will respond to your email during those
times. If you need an immediate response via email during normal
business hours please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-
871-7141. Evenings or weekends please call 508-365-3576. Thank
you again for your email and understanding.”
The key to this working is to set the expectations upfront. When I explain how this is a benefit to my clients they have no issue and I can pretty much ignore my email for the rest of the day.
Empty Your Inbox:
There’s nothing more distracting and discouraging than a cluttered inbox, yet so many people have them because they don’t have a good system for filing and responding to emails. I get through almost all of my emails every single day. Two or three might sit overnight, but never more than that. A cluttered inbox drives me crazy, so I came up with a system to easily clear it out. First, I don’t procrastinate responding. If I know what I need to say, I’ll say it right then. Second, if it’s information I don’t want to think about now, but know I want to consider later, I use a Gmail add-on tool called Boomerang. I can set a specific date, and have the email come back to my inbox on that date. I Boomerang all non-urgent emails to Saturdays, or a late afternoon once a week and I time block an hour or so to deal with them. I heard about Boomerang from the famous Tim Ferriss.
If you send the same type of information regularly, don’t reinvent the wheel every time. Save a good “generic” version of your message, and copy and paste it into new emails as needed. The CRM system I use has an email library so I can create templates of the emails that go out frequently. This takes some time on the front end but can save you a ton of time on the back end. All of these systems will help you better manage your emails, reduce distractions, and probably decrease your stress as well
For more information on becoming more efficient with systems and email sign up to grab your copy of The Sales Playbook at www.thesalesplaybook.net
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