How To Up Your Email Game
You Have One Question
This is so simple yet so effective, I learned this from an old boss of mine and it made such a difference in getting the answers I wanted from candidates and clients.
We, Recruiters, are generally impatient by nature and we ask a lot of questions, we have to, it’s part of the job. But sometimes we ask too many questions when we should only ask one.
What You Do Right Now
So, let me give you an example, and this is pretty common, most of us do this. What generally happens when we need to email someone that we need answers from to allow us to move forward is we’ll think of everything we need to know and throw in 3 or 4 questions. Then get annoyed when they come back only answering the first question. Or they pick the one they want to answer. Ever noticed this? Then we’ll feel guilty for emailing back asking the same questions again because we feel we are pestering and repeating ourselves.
Well to be honest if you do that then it’s kinda your fault. But unless it’s pointed out to you it’s a simple and common mistake to make. Because it’s human nature to just answer one question at a time, plus people are lazy. The reason we ask all our questions in one email is that we think it’s being efficient or we won’t come across as a pain in the arse if we just send one email with everything in.
What You Actually Want To Do
What you want to do is just ask one. Only one. No matter if you have a list of 10 questions that all need answering right now. You ask just one. ONE. Clear?
Try it, think about what it is you want or need to know, write down what you want to know and if that becomes a long list, then pick the most important thing that you want to know right now. What’s the one thing you need to know right now to help you move forward?
And don’t make the emails really long-winded either, nobody wants a book to read, there’s nothing wrong with literally just asking a question and signing off. It’s not rude to get to the point, you don’t need to write a load of small talk first to soften the blow of your question. In my experience emails are much more effective the shorter they are.
You Are Not That Special
This also works great for business development emails, too many recruiters send out these long emails selling everything they do and more, attaching brochures and going on about how many people they’ve placed in a particular area or what clients they also work with. NO ONE CARES. NO ONE. I’m sure the odd one works, but a prospective hiring manager doesn’t care and doesn’t want to read your long-arsed email.
If you are chasing a lead and you can’t get them on the phone then instead of sending them the shopping list of how amazing you are, all you need to write is this:
My name is …… and I specialise in placing ……… candidates. I understand you may be looking to hire a …….. Engineer.
If you are not the correct person to discuss this with apologies.
If you are not, who would be the best person for me to speak to?
And that’s it, it’s clean and simple, the most effective thing to ask is who? Who should I be speaking to discuss this? Chances are you’ll get a name.
The who’s and the what’s, that’s all you need to focus on.
Then when you get your answer, that should determine what to do next. And if you still have more questions, then just email them back asking the next one question you need the answer to and so on.
If you ask just one question people can’t hide from it, especially if it’s a short email, or if the content of the email is solely just the question.
Try it and see for yourself, but this is one thing I swear by and encourage my teams to do the same, once you start getting the answers you want you won’t go back to asking lots of questions in one go.