In one of the SME business seminars I posed “phone calls v email conversations” question. Almost everyone present in the hall preferred “phone calls”. All of them prefer to phone up clients for eliciting response on sales pitch or for any business conversation. To most of them, writing emails is a cumbersome process while phone is handy. However, almost 90 per cent of them revealed during one-on-one interactions that email exchanges are most valuable for business transactions.
Here are five top reasons why an effective email for business transaction is worth many phone calls:
1. Emails can contain vast amount of information with relevant details
The emails are essential part of business communications as it can transfer documents, designs and pictures, etc in a flash. With phone conversations, these need to be sent through courier often resulting in miscommunication, time lag and unnecessary delay.
2. Emails can contain relevant info systematically, calls often miss points
While writing emails on any subject, one writes point-wise (more on writing effective emails later), thoughtfully and with well considered strategy. Thanks to call drops and other noise during calls, point-wise discussion with a well considered strategy is next to impossible. Calls are preferred for short exchanges and not for long discussions.
3. Emails do not disturb anybody’s work flow, calls do
Frankly, I belong to NO-CALLING-ME-ANYTIME group. I think we all just dread calls while sitting in important meetings. Calls are so interruptive. The beauty of emails is that they do not disturb your workflow and yet, convey the message clearly.
4. Calls demand immediate response which are often not the best response
Do you prefer to respond to a business query in a huff or do you want to consider it, plan your response and then prefer to reply at your convenience? Phone calls often ask for an immediate response without giving you time to plan to response. That’s the reason, most often you would get “will get back to you” response when you call up with any business proposal.
5. Emails can be easily tracked, very difficult for phone calls
Email exchanges are recorded, easily preserved and sharable. Phone calls do not have this luxury. For any business transaction, emails can be tracked easily and reviewed at any point of time. How would you do this for phone calls?
It is preferable to initiate business dialogues through email exchanges and then sit across table after the transaction attains a certain maturity. Agreed?
(The author Anup Kumar Sinha is a content strategist and senior journalist who works for SME sector).