How to Win Friends and Clients with Faster Response Times
I was at a recent The Knot Pro Workshop, and Bernadette Baillie (an absolute force of nature, btw), mentioned that a massive percentage of people in the wedding industry don’t ever respond to email inquiries from prospective clients. At the same conference I heard from a real bride who said that one vendor she was considering for her wedding finally emailed back – after the wedding (to which she responded, “I’m already married!”).
What gives with slow response times these days? We’re all busy, I get it, but somehow we’ve got to pull it together to get back to people in a timely way. It’s a professional courtesy, after all.
Rather than go on a rant, I’m going to point out a few positive things that happen when you get back to people quickly.
First and most importantly, they’ll feel like you care about them. Someone calls or emails and you don’t respond for three days. How do you think they feel about you on day three? Now, imagine you get back to them within a few minutes…they think you think they’re important! Show people they are a priority through your actions. Response time is a big part of that – and it’s so easy.
Another thing that happens when you get back to people quickly is you get more stuff done and out of the way, so you aren’t so stressed out about things while you’re working. Research indicates one red notification on your phone screen showing you have an unopened email can take 10 points off your working IQ. Wow. Maybe if you think about responding quickly to emails as a way to make you smarter you’ll do it more often?
When you get back to people quicker, you’ll likely get more done in your own world. A lot of emails are exchanges between you and another person who are working on some kind of shared project or goal. If you get them what they need – and make them feel really good about how much you care about them by making them a priority – then they’re likely to do the same for you. Quid pro quo gets things done!
Maybe most importantly, we can’t talk about faster response times without mentioning the HUGE increase in sales you’ll see when you are super fast on getting back to people. I’ve seen stats that show the benefit of getting back to a new inquiry within 5 minutes can boost the chances of them booking by 9x. Nine.Times. If someone told you to “do this one thing to boost your sales by nine times” you do it right?
What if you can’t get back to someone – anyone, not just a new prospect - as quickly as you’d like? Try dropping them a line: “I’m totally buried at the moment. You deserve a complete and thoughtful response. Can you give me until ____________ to get back to you?” This works nine out of ten times, so try it!
Remember that Emerson quote, “Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying?” Keep that in mind the next time you procrastinate responding to someone.