Don’t ask me for advice; buy me lunch instead!

Don’t ask me for advice; buy me lunch instead!

Just like everybody else I receive way too much email. I’m pretty good in managing it all (Inbox Zero baby!) but it is still work. Some of these emails are from people who want something from me. They want a favor, some advice, my opinion or my money. A lot of my time is spent saying no.

A while ago I even wrote a post on how to prepare yourself for a meeting with us. It lists all the basic things I found myself repeating when having meetings. Still, I frequently get emails from people that want something from me.

I’ll get an email that goes something like this:

“Hey Boris, want to come over to our company so we can show you some of our projects? We would be very interested to get your opinion on some things”

Here is the problem I have with these emails; I don’t see what I have to gain. I would have to travel to that company, have an hour long meeting, then travel back. That takes me 3 hours in total which totally breaks up my day and concentration so it almost feels like I have lost a whole day.

It isn’t that I’m not interested in new companies, fresh ideas and thinking about the future but it just helps if people think about what is in it for me. Yesterday I received an email that made me smile:

“Hey Boris, I found out there is a great restaurant just around the corner from your office. I would like to offer you lunch there somewhere next week, when you are available, so we can catch up and I can show you a cool new thing we are working on. I always appreciate your feedback.”

Now here is someone who thought about what would put a smile on my face and what would be beneficial to me. Of course I’m meeting with this guy!

Too many emails are written without thinking about the receiving person. Instead of thinking about what you want and how to explain it best think about the person receiving your email; he or she will have a hangover, she will look at her inbox and see 80 emails that all need attention. Every single email means another todo and another favor or request. Then your email comes in. Ugh.

When you think about it you might come to the conclusion you aren’t going to send an email at all. Why don’t you go out and buy flowers and bring them over. You could say “instead of sending you another email I decided to bring you flowers. Hope they brighten up your day”.

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