John Akerson's Thoughts

Business, technology and life

Million Dollar Offer vs An Electronic Flood.

Mark Richtel has a great article in The New York Times today about “Your Brain On Computers.”  In Mark’s article, and in another by Christine Lagorio on Inc Magazine, the following scenario is described:

Someone wanted to buy Kord Campbell’s startup for $1.3 million dollars. They sent him an email. He didn’t see the email for 12 days, and only saw it when he was sifting through old messages.

Most of both articles describe the kind of constant attention deficit disorder inducing characteristics of technology. They describe email, chats, web browsing and an “electronic flood.”  Kord’s electronic flood is pictured here.  My personal own electronic flood that looks like this:

The thing is – EVERYONE has an electronic flood. In view of that fact, losing a million dollar email… is silly.

To clarify – It is NOT silly to lose an email. I get hundreds of emails daily; I have filters that delete many of them before I ever see them and I assume MOST people have filters and volume attached to their own personal floods. What I want to more clearly say is that it is silly to begin a million dollar deal with just an email. Email has lots of great characteristics, but it doesn’t generally have any verifiable receipt. I’m not talking about doing the return receipt requested. When you fire off an email and send a message, there is really not an adequate way to know that the person you sent it to has actually gotten it.  If they do get it, you really have no way to know when they got it.

Given the electronic flood that everyone now lives with:  Anyone who wants to do a million dollar deal should send a paper copy, a fax, make a phone call, send a text AND follow up with a phone call and/or a face-to-face meeting. (via Skype or whatever, if there are geographical considerations)  This would be a great idea for deals done via fax, mail, phone, text message, instant messenging, tweet, Facebook, or any other type of other new or old media.

Newer electronic forms of communication are tremendously convenient, but as the saying goes, there’s no substitute for being there. If the offer is that valuable, then it merits sending in multiple communication formats – and at least one of the types of communication used really ought to be a bit traditional.

When you reach out and touch someone with a valuable message, even if it is not a million dollar offer, you have a responsibility to be certain they get the offer that you sent. If a message is valuable, spend the time to make sure it gets to the intended recipient with the intended information. Put time, effort and yourself into your communication.  When a message is likely to be valuable, use a shotgun approach. Send multiple formats to ensure that your million dollar offer survives the electronic flood and then like the multiple pellets in a shotgun shell, you will have a greater chance of hitting your target.

Nobody wants to miss or lose a million dollar offer.

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June 7, 2010 - Posted by | Business

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