If you cater to their needs with an email sandwich, as suggested by Jennifer Kahnweiler in Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference, you’re likely to have more productive exchanges.
Here’s what Kahnweiler suggests when you schedule a meeting or phone conversation:
Step 1. Write and send in advance an email with “all necessary background information for a discussion.” This lets your readers think about your agenda or ideas prior to your conversation.
Step 2. Discuss the topics with the other person in person, on the phone, or in some other “live” format.
Step 3. Send an email summary of your conversation’s key points. This helps the reader reflect “before committing to action,” as Kahnweiler says.
This email sandwich creates “thinking space for others,…especially…introverts,” says Kahnweiler.
As an introvert, I heartily endorse the email sandwich. I wish everyone would use this technique.
On the other hand, crafting an effective email sandwich takes time. You may choose to reserve it for high-stakes meetings or discussions that benefit from reflection. In addition, sometimes a quick phone call works better than an email.
If you’ve used an email sandwich with clients, prospects, or other important individuals, has it worked for you? I’m interested in learning from your experience.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book.