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Mail Me Not

E-mail's good, but to hash out a deal, you need to get personal.

By Marc Diener

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's hard not to be infatuated with e-mail. It's fast,it's cheap-and today, it's as common as triple lattes andbody piercings. The sophisticated deal-maker, however, should notbe so easily impressed. Like snail mail, phone calls and faxes,e-mail is just another way to communicate, and it has its ownstrengths and weaknesses, especially when used in negotiations.

In the asset column, e-mail is swift and convenient. It'sgreat for getting answers to simple questions, arranging meetingsand circulating information. When there's a need to build aconsensus, you can reach lots of people quickly-and in many cases,it affords easy access to all levels of an organization. Becauseit's written, e-mail gives you time to reflect beforeresponding. All that is very, very good.

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