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The Problem with Email ...

A friend forwarded this article along and I certainly thought that the underlying message here is worth repeating. If the number of emails I receive is any indication email has become the PRIMARY means of communication and we are all buried in the stuff!

Mark makes some excellent points and I would add or expand on his thoughts in a couple of areas:

1. If everyone is using email to communicate with their candidates and clients then actually picking up the phone will be a big differentiator ... obviously there are time considerations, but if you can justify it then you have a great opportunity to be the person who actually TALKS to people ... fancy that!
2. Seth Godin wrote a blog entry called FRICTION and it was about using mass emails to get messages across. Email that is not specifically for the person receiving it can be very easily deemed spam ... and then you have lost the person forever. So, IF you need to send email think through what you are saying but also who it is going to. Better still pick up the phone!
3. Mark talks about the impersonal nature of email, the lack of emotion, the difficulty in crafting clear messages ... email gets us ALL in trouble. This is not a rare thing ... so pick up the phone when you can, especially for people who are important to you.

Read Mark's messages .. a good article for anyone in the staffing industry AND very applicable in many other industries!

Nine Reasons to Call Instead of Sending Email
By Mark Whitby

As you read this article, take a moment and tune into the sounds of your workplace. Do you hear the hubbub of lively conversation, with everyone talking at once? Or do you hear the clickety-clack of keyboards?

If your sales bullpen sounds more like a "typing pool" than a "trading floor," it might indicate an over-reliance on email. I've noticed that many recruiters prefer to email instead of actually speaking to their clients and candidates.

Here are nine reasons why that's a bad idea...

1. You can't build relationships by email. Imagine if you only emailed your friends and family instead of calling them. How strong do you suppose your personal relationship would be? The same applies to your business relationships.
2. The telephone is intimate -- you have the chance to really connect with another human being. Email is less personal -- you miss the chance to build trust and rapport with your clients and candidates.
3. It's harder to influence other people's opinions and decisions by email. Think about it. The telephone is a two-way channel of communication. When it comes to selling, a dialog beats a monolog any day!
4. It's difficult to convey tone of voice by email no matter how many "smilies" you use :-) There's always a danger of being misunderstood and a perfectly innocent email can spark a negative reaction from the recipient.
5. Because you can't read body language by email, potential deal breakers are much harder to detect. Clients and candidates can string you along more easily by email than they can by telephone.
6. Every conversation is an opportunity to re-qualify the candidate, gain leads, referrals and market intelligence. Much harder to achieve by email.
7. When problems arise, a quick telephone call is often all that's required to resolve things amicably. On the other hand, a heated exchange of emails can quickly escalate issues past the point of no return.
8. You have no control over how quickly someone responds to your email. When you need an immediate answer, use the telephone.
9. Reading and replying to email wastes a lot of time. It's easy to get bogged down. Instead of spending the first hour of every day in your "inbox", spend it on the phone instead. I guarantee you'll see an increase in billings.

When I first started in recruitment, we didn't have email. Remember when you had to send resumes by fax or post? I'm not advocating a return to the dark ages of recruitment; email certainly makes our job easier. But I've noticed that Big Billers still spend a lot of time on the phone.

So the next time you're about to write an email, stop and ask yourself: "Could I get better or faster results with a phone call?" If the answer is yes, then pick up the phone!

To download a free copy of "Recruiting in Tough Times: How to Increase Your Sales in a Soft Economy," please visit

Mark Whitby is one of the leading trainers in the United Kingdom and works with recruiting firms internationally. An expert in motivation and sales performance, Mark is the creator of the best-selling "Recruitment Masterclass" audio program and the founder of the web-based recruiter training site