Dynamic communication is one of the keys to success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success. If you want to become a dynamic communicator, you need to develop three basic skills: 1) conversation, 2) writing and 3) presenting.
Email is a written communication skill. Unfortunately, many people don’t seem to understand that the basic rules of writing and courtesy apply when using email. My friend Lydia Ramsey recently wrote a great article on email communication and etiquette. She has graciously allowed me to reprint it here…
Email: Be Brief, But Not Abrupt
How many e-mail messages do you receive that are not personalized in any way? The sender goes straight to the message without ever acknowledging you by name? The communication ends just as abruptly without a signature. The assumption, of course, is that your inbox will reveal the sender's name
While e-mail is meant to brief and to the point, it is not intended to be impersonal. E-mail has become the cold call of today's business world. Would you make a cold call without a greeting or an introduction? Would you make a cold call without attempting to establish a relationship? The answer of course is ‘no.’ So why would anyone send e-mail without a personal touch?
I often receive messages through my website. I never cease to be amazed at how many people fail to address me by name. They ask a question or request information and proceed to close without leaving their name, contact information or a kind word.
Business is built on relationships and first impressions. If you want to grow your business using the internet, keep in mind that your e-mail messages still require courtesy and cordiality.
Begin by using the person's name, add warmth to your message and close with your name and contact information.
A businessman recently cited an e-mail incident that turned him off and cost the other person a significant piece of business. He was requesting information and suggesting future business opportunities with the recipient. The reply that came back to him had a subject line that read, ‘Attached.’ That was it! There was no greeting, no message, no words of appreciation, no explanation of the attachment and no closing.
I leave it to you to decide if he opened the attachment or if he engaged in any follow-up.
Here is one example of how the reply should have been composed:
Dear Mr. Chase:
Thank you for your interest in my programs. I have attached the information you requested. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by phone at 843-224-4233 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Big Business Inc.
Many of us have reached a point where we will do anything to save time; but if we lose business in the process, are those few extra minutes we gain worth the price we pay?
Lydia is right, the few seconds you take to personalize your salutation and closing can have a big impact on whether your e mail gets read or trashed.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are dynamic communicators. Dynamic communicators have well developed conversation, writing and presentation skills. People often forget that the rules of courtesy that govern other written communication also apply to email communication. If you want to write emails that communicate and build relationships follow Lydia Ramsey’s advice. Be polite, begin with the other person’s name and end with a brief signature like “All the best” or “Warmest regards” and your name.
That’s my take – and Lydia Ramsey’s take on email etiquette. What’s yours? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.