Does it make a difference how fast you answer emails? (Yes/No?)

Fast answers help when people are shopping around.
Many of us do not think about how fast we answer emails. It actually might matter a lot. If someone is emailing twenty companies for quotes for a job, the first one to email them back might get special consideration. You are more likely to get the job if you email someone back while they are still thinking about what they ask you. Keep in mind that business people juggle all types of tasks. They might have twenty things to do in a given day. So, if they are thinking about outsourcing from 9pm to 10pm USA time and you answer their email within minutes while they are still thinking about outsourcing, you might score a deal easily. The other guys who get back to you in twelve hours (which is still not bad) or thirty-six hours, or two days, or a week are progressively less likely to get the job.

So, how glued to your email should you be?
It depends on how competitive your job is. If you are purely in sales and there is a lot of competition in your industry, you might consider glueing yourself to your computer or handheld. Especially for new inquiries from unknown entities, a fast reply is paramount. For existing clients, 12-24 hour responses are usually okay unless the issue is pressing.

How to stay organized
It might even make sense to organize your email into folders. You can put the pressing emails into a pressing folder and get to those within minutes. The other ones do later on in the day.

Making the right impression counts a lot
Making an impression is another reason to answer emails fast. I don’t like sluggish people. Trying to get anything done with a slug is like pulling teeth. Fast people are fun to work with and get the job done. In addition to the convenience of people answering emails fast, it is more fun and makes an amazing impression if you get back to people at lightening fast speeds. At, I keep track of how fast people get back to me. Unfortunately, I’m not so fast getting back to them because I’m overwhelmed. But, since they are competing for work, I like it when they prove themselves. We have 800 outsourcing companies on my directory, and I like to keep records of how good people are on the phone, and how fast they answer emails with actual answers. A fast response does no good if you didn’t answer the question, right?

So, take a minute to think about how much it matters how fast you answer emails in general, or particular types of emails. Think about it and then take action! And forget about all of those popular blog entries telling you not to stay glued to your email. If you’re in sales, it is imperative that you stay glued!

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