It’s currently 5:30 pm on Friday night as I start this post. I literally had to force myself to click off all the open tabs on my computer and just let go for the day. Three days away at a conference has put me three days behind in my daily work flow. Fridays for me are generally sacred office days. I sleep in a little bit later because I know I’m not going to get dressed but just do the following in my pjs (or sweats if I’m feeling ambitious):
- Follow up on orders placed that week and make sure they are entered on my spreadsheet so I can report to my manufacturers: BEHOLD! I am working!
- Set appointments for the next couple weeks, using my computer calendar, my planner and my white board for back up
- Research potential new customers-they are out there, and Google has changed the world as we know it
- Maybe eat some soup and do some yoga at noon or take the dogs for a walk
- Study new products: can’t sell if I can’t tell
- Order samples
- Organize my car and home office desk
- Send out handwritten thank you cards-my rule is three per week
But none of that even came close to happening today. My sole focus was my EMAIL IN-BOX, which I have named Krakatoa, after a live volcano in Indonesia.
Now mind you, I’m not a “ZERO emails in the in-box by end of day” kind of person. I’m pretty sure people like that are demi-gods who don’t sleep, eat or have any fun. Me? I’m comfortable with 50 or under at the end of the day and 25 or under before the weekend starts. I like a little left over email clutter because these are usually emails that I need to respond to with a little more thought, time and a fresh brain.
Tonight, however, I shut things down with 282 unread emails in my inbox and I worked most of the day to get it to that number so I’m feeling completely out of control. I read somewhere that reading and returning emails should not be on your To-Do list but for my business they are a key part in how I move projects from the design phase into orders, which is of course what pays me. So HELL yeah emails are part of my to do list. But there comes a point in time where you just need to say enough and risk the danger of Krakatoa exploding with hot lava and frustrated clients.
I’m old enough to remember my sales life without email. Life moved at a different pace then. We communicated on phones with cords so you couldn’t pace while talking without pulling the phone off your desk. Sometimes we mailed proposals or literature with STAMPS. Later on came this devil magic thing called the FAX Machine. But most of the work was done face to face.
These days, at least for me, emails have become a pretty big part of the sales equation and I don’t think this will be changing any time soon. And now I can actually email video recordings of myself showing product options with background music (2020 goal). And if you read my blog post from two days ago, I can text videos of my cartoon emoji saying thank you for the order.
So while NOTHING and I mean nothing beats being up close and personal in sales (and at home: I’m about to go show my real face to my family) Krakatoa is live and rumbling and she’s coming for me. But she is gonna have to wait until Monday.