Although we are in the age of communication and it has never been easier to get in touch with anyone wherever you are, it turns out that talking in person is still the option that has the most effect when you want to achieve something. Despite this fact, the vast majority of us tend to think that sending an email is more effective.
The study Ask in person: you’re less persuasive than you think about email served to prove that the electrical mail is not as effective as we thought, although the users are convinced of the contrary. And this belief why it happens? The research states that users tend to overestimate our ability to convince when we communicate in writing and underestimate it in face-to-face meetings.
In fact, in the experiment they did for the study, in-person requests were 34 times more effective than those sent by email.
The main reason is that the recipients tend to distrust the messages that come from a stranger of whom they have no reference, beyond the good intentions and honesty of the sender of the message.
To this must be added that the world of email is exposed to security breaches that do not exist in personal contact, thus creating mistrust of the emails we receive from strangers. This barrier of suspicion is easier to avoid when you talk to someone in person.
“When we replicated our findings in a second study, we found that nonverbal cues that were conveyed face to face made the difference in how people interpreted the legitimacy of requests,” says the study’s author at HBR. But the applicants had not thought about this. It is that feeling that someone gives you and that through the internet it becomes difficult to perceive.
Among the factors that could influence is also the predisposition to respond at the time of receiving the message and the attention we provide. In-person contact requires an immediate response, for good or for bad, but when you receive an email that you do not expect, you will most likely leave it for later and end up ignoring it very easily. Talking to someone in person implies that you are dedicating much of your attention and that is above the emails accumulated.