It happened again to me this past week – twice.
My outgoing email was not returned in an expeditious fashion and my human-side immediately switched over to “human mode.”
You know the feeling: self-doubt, negative self-talk, questioning your worth, not to mention your value. Bad, nasty thoughts enter your mind as a result of the EDZ- “Email Dead Zone.” If you allow your mind to continue playing this game, you might even begin questioning why you got into this business in the first place.
When this happens, it’s time for a little reenactment from a popular TV program “NCIS.” It’s time for a little Jethro Gibbs’ whack in the head (as he does to Tony DiNozzo time and time again). Tony has since left the show.
The truth is that 99% of the time you have nothing to do with (1) the silence, (2) the apparent apathy, or (3) the sign of disrespect when your emails are not returned. You are simply a victim of the infamous “Dead Zone.”
The “Dead Zone” lies just below the lowest line on your visible incoming email screen. Every email, regardless of the sender, their position in life or the size of their bank account, arrives prominently on line one and in position “A.”
Then, as if by maniacal design, each new email replaces the one before it and assumes position “A.” Each previous email gets pushed lower down the page. Before too long, your once prominent email is now deep in the “Zone.”
Then life “happens,” as it has a knack for doing. The reader’s phone rings. It’s a call from his or her son who just got in a fender-bender and now has no way to get to work on time. Then, as if things couldn’t get worse, the reader’s number one client just pulled the account. As a result the family reunion cruise has to be cancelled. The reader’s landlord is on hold, which has little promise of good news since the town he or she works in has just been rezoned.
As all this breaking news unfolds, your email continues to head “south” on the recipient’s computer screen. Your email is now sliding down the “Zone” like a greased pig on ice. Once it falls below eyesight, you’re toast!
You are still a good person. You are still honest, hard working and you come with a sense of humor. You had nothing to do with the email silence. In fact, the reader had every intention of returning your email to book that family reunion, until life “happened.”
Are you beginning to see the dilemma? You must stop flattering yourself. It is not about you. But a very important question still needs to be addressed. You ask: Okay Mr. Marketing Big Shot, what can I do to avoid the “Zone?”
First, you can practice a bit of emotional intelligence by adopting the following practice. Resend your initial email while silently chanting your new mantra: “No Dead Zone is going to thwart my communications with my cherished target audience.” Go ahead. Yell this out loud! It has a way of making you feel better, while your fellow associates scratch their heads wondering about your apparent sugar intake.
Remember that it was you who wanted to communicate with the email receiver. That means the ball remains in your court until a certain satisfaction level is experienced. Email again — and again and again!
By the way, the two emails I sent out were eventually both returned with apologies from the readers for not doing so sooner. You see, it really wasn’t about me after all!
Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.