sly : marketing

How fast do you respond?

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I used to be fast. I used to be reply to email, faster than anyone I have ever known. I used to reply to comments, just a few minutes after someone published them. I am not that fast anymore. As a matter of fact. I am really slow.

I always respond.

But, sometimes it takes 24 hours, and other times it can take more than a week. It all depends.

I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. I really want to be fast. I really want to respond faster than anyone I know. But, it took me a while to understand that when I was the fastest person around, I didn’t focus enough on my business. I was just being social (and nice to people). Being fast, it didn’t get me any results.

Fast is a good thing. But, if I’m going back to being fast, I need to have a strategy. I need to find a reason why I am going to keep my phone on, while I am writing. I need to have a reason to why I am going listen to the sound of new email arriving. So far, it’s all quiet, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

14 responses to “How fast do you respond?”

  1. Hi Jens,

    Couldn’t agree more with you 🙂

    Being fast is good, but what are you keeping at stake is what you need to decide on first. If I am cooking or need to take care of my kids first, I’d rather do that then reply to comments. But when my work is done and I have the time, that’s when the comments come in. I think it all depends on the priorities we have in our lives, isn’t it?

    Honestly speaking, you cannot he all over, all the time! To gain something, you need to let go of something, and that’s alright I think. Like you, I take my own sweet time to reply to comments, because there’s a lot that happens in my home-front too that I need to take care of, but I do take them up, and I guess with time my readers understand that as well.

    Yes, there are many bloggers who are very quick with comments, and that’s good because they can manage it, just as we can when we can. While there are others whose post don’t show any comments, till suddenly you have the comments and the replies – ALL showing up altogether! It’s just what suits us, is what we should do, without trying to follow anyone or any method.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      I absolutely agree with you. I always try to reply to every single comment, and every single phone call etc., but now, I’m doing it when I have the time to do it. This makes a lot more sense to me, and it has done amazing things for my work. I believe that I do work of better quality now, because I am in charge of my time.

  2. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Agreed 😉

    Fast can save a lot of time, but it can also make us forget what’s important. I want to respond within the first one-two hours of each email/comment reply notification that would take a lot out of my life (We have to live and enjoy our lives, right? :D). I am okay with a delay of 1-2 days (or maybe even more). People are too impatient these days (we have to encourage patience :D).

    When I saw the image, I was thinking about my typing skills. I am still working on learning proper typing technique (problem is that I don’t use all my fingers, and that slows me down). So, typing a comment takes a lot more time (I am averaging on 10 mins per blog post, depending upon the length of the blog post).

    Thanks for sharing this, Jens. Hope you are having a wonderful week!

    • Hi Jeevan,

      I was actually going to try to reply to comments within the first hour, just for this post. But, now, it’s been several days, and here I am. That’s what I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been planning my days, and I have been focusing on the most important things for my business (what eventually is putting food on our table). I have had a busy weekend, with a lot of fun stuff, and that’s why I have ended up replying to comments on Sunday evening.

  3. Jane says:

    Hey Jens, so true. I used to be a person who responded almost instantly to people during my early days. But when the number of people who contact you for various things increase, you only have 24 hours a day and one or more businesses to run.

    I now check mail, but don’t start to respond to stuff immediately. If there is an email that need immediate attention I go ahead and respond immediately. For certain enquiries, I have templates created in Gmail – so I load those templates and send them. For other emails that need a bit more detailed response, I put them in waiting and get back to them during a time of the day.

    But when it comes to social media, I usually respond quite fast.

    Thanks for sharing your insights Jens 🙂 Responding to our audience/potential customers/readers/clients is very important, and late response is much better than no response at all!

    • That’s awesome Jane. I transfer all the email I need to answer to into Omnifocus, and I work in batches, replying to email when I am in email mode. The same goes for social media. I am not online all the time. I work with my ideas, and with clients, and then I work with email and social media when I have set the time to do so. I try my best to answer fast, but many times I can’t do it.

  4. Raman Gill says:

    Hi Jens, I am in the same boat with regards to responding. A few years ago I was quick in replying but now it may take more than 24 hrs. This question has often wondered me – why I am not that quick anymore ? Over the years I think we become more experienced and get involved in doing different things, that makes it hard to reply immediately. Your write ups are interesting and informative 🙂

    • Thanks a lot for your feedback Raman. I am not sure if the reason why I am not that fast anymore is because I am more experienced, if it’s because I have less time (because I have more things to do), or if it’s because I’m older (and slower) or if it’s a combination. But, to me, focusing on the things that really matters, what my clients are paying me to do, is one of the most important tasks I’m doing every day. At the same time, I’m planning my future (every single day) and my future is strongly related to my brand and the products I’ll be making.

  5. Ben says:

    Hi Jens,

    You can’t drop everything whenever a comment or an email comes in. If you did that, you’d never have the time to work on anything substantial.

    I have a similar issue at work. I’m coding, and someone interrupts me with a new request. I’ve now lost any momentum I’d built up on what I was working on. Also, if I start working on the new request, the old one is going to have to wait; whereas if I continue on the original request, the new one has to wait.

    Sometimes, much as I’d like to get all of my work done quickly and keep everyone happy, there will be things that have to wait. It’s just not possible to do everything immediately 🙂

    • Hi Ben,

      That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking. When I was working at the university, I just couldn’t turn things off, like I can do now. People interrupted me all the time, and I did enjoy it, but the quality of my work suffered. Now, even though I need to be there for my clients, I turn everything off, so I can concentrate. And, I check email, social media, my phone etc.. several times a day, so I can be on top of things.

  6. floriefe may says:

    I definitely agree to what others are saying. I know there are good things about being fast because time counts but certainly you have give quality with your work no matter how fast you are. Just like Harleena is talking about. Just relax and do your job well, then everything else will follow. Thanks for sharing! I found and “kingged” this on the Internet marketing social site –

    • We need to focus on the most important things in our lives. I start my day by planning and reviewing. I don’t set the times, but I set the tasks I need to do every single day, and to me, that’s what’s important for my business. And, I respond as soon as I can, when my tasks are done or when I have a pause.

  7. marquita herald says:

    How fast (or slow) I respond depends on who I’m responding to. I’ve been a mentor and small business coach for well over a decade and one thing I’ve learned is no matter how good the training, some people will look to you first to solve every little problem that pops up – but when you do that they aren’t growing and you’re unable to spend time with people who really do need the help. If you aren’t immediately accessible, they manage to do just fine and then you can come and congratulate them on how well they’ve done. 🙂

    • That’s what I’m doing as well. I have a filter on my email, so my “important” clients will get through to my inbox, while people I haven’t communicated with before, or people I haven’t communicated with in a long time, will end up in a different folder. This way, I respond to my “VIP -list” a lot faster than to people I don’t have any prior relationship with.

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