Your base of operations for sales is probably your email inbox, right? Aside from your phone, it’s your main tool in communicating with both prospects and current clients. But if it’s cluttered by the dozens to hundreds of emails you receive every day, it’s more likely that you’ll either overlook or accidentally delete an email that could lead to a sale. Alice Heiman in her article “Get Control of Your Inbox with These Email Hacks” offers advice on how to give priority emails the spotlight.
Stop Generating Your Own Clutter
Is email your primary form of communication with your coworkers and/or people in your personal life? It shouldn’t be. Those replies are clogging your inbox and distracting you from the other messages that are piling up in their wake. Get rid of them by using other forms of communication for conversations that aren’t sales related. Use the company instant messaging service, send a text or get up and walk over to your coworker’s desk to talk through things.
Heiman recommends setting aside time each day to go through your emails (she does this three times per day). Now, this doesn’t mean responding to every single email all at once. Do the simple tasks first. Delete or forward emails that don’t pertain to you. Then go through and respond to the emails that will take five minutes or less of your time. Finally, delegate the rest. Make folders in your inbox where you can sort mail based on the time limit you feel you have to respond to it, priority clients, etc. If you sort your email in this way, you’ll know how to better manage your time responding to the messages instead of scrambling to accommodate each email in order of arrival. If you don’t prioritize your email, you may miss the time limit you have to respond to an especially important email that requires a timely response.