“Communication using information technologies such as email and IM differs structurally from face-to-face communication in important ways.”
Janice Nadler – Northwestern University of Law
Communication channel options have never been more varied than they are today. Between email, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and dozens of other social networks, we have more choices than ever before. Throw in faxes, voicemails, phone calls, and the good old-fashioned face-to-face conversation (remember those?) – a salesperson can’t be blamed for being confused as to what works and what doesn’t!
It goes without saying that face-to-face conversations provide the best opportunity to build rapport and trust, to persuade and to influence, and to understand and build relationships – all of which are extremely important in building a successful career as a real estate salesperson. The reality of the matter is that in these modern days, face-to-face conversations aren’t always an option.
Email (and, by extension, any written communication that is not limited to a mere handful of words) is becoming increasingly common in the way we do business. It’s time to take a close look at how email benefits us – and what pitfalls we need to watch out for.
Many salespeople wonder if email is really the most efficient method of communication. Email is fast, but that doesn’t necessarily make it efficient. To be efficient, the process must achieve maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort.
Email is a great medium to use for many situations: it’s quick, it’s pretty reliable, you can attach visual and audio add-ons and, when properly written, it can be very powerful indeed. But – there’s always a but – many of the emails that I receive are riddled with unclear messages, irrelevant points, and longwinded statements that are straight up confusing. Messages like these discredit emails as a whole.
One of the best ways to avoid miscommunicating with emails is to be aware of some of the most common pitfalls. Keep your eye out for common email-related dilemmas, including:
- Emails that never make it to their intended recipient
- Emails that are not read or that are simply glossed over
- Emails that are read through the lens of the reader and are interpreted incorrectly
- Emails that are poorly written, leading the reader to lose interest, or worse, lose respect for the sender
- Aggressive tactics that encourage direct and confrontational communication
- Attribution errors that might cloud the way we interpret the message based on what we believe to be true on a subconscious level
- Emails that are lost in a crowded inbox, sinking down to the bottom of the priority list.
If you’re going to be using emails (and in this day and age, you should be), you need to employ tactics to improve the effectiveness of your emails.
- Make them visually appealing.
- Focus on clear emails that are easy to read.
- Limit each email to only a few important points.
- Edit your email and remove any irrelevant detail.
- Set the tone in the opening and closing lines to encourage the recipient to keep reading.
- Think about how the recipient might interpret the message. Beware of ambiguity!
- Keep your communications clear of negative emotions.
Becoming skilled at communication via email is an invaluable asset for a real estate salesperson. There are times when an email can make or break a deal, like when the other side needs a little breathing room, when one party needs the opportunity to save face, or when you need to give some time to allow your message to sink in.
Mastering email negotiations is a one-day course offered as part of the MCNE course. It falls on Day 2 of CNE2. The Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE)® course is a prerequisite. For more information, click HERE