Email: Still An Outstanding Tool

Sometimes, I’ll email potential vendors to see if and how they’ll respond. It’s like a test. Is that wrong? 😆

Email has been with us since the ‘90s. Wouldn’t you think all organizations would be fully competent with this form of communication?

Whether you’re a one-person landscaping firm, a manufacturing plant with 50 folks, or a 10,000-employee organization, if you have a website with an inquiry form for prospective customers to utilize, there’s no excuse for not responding to those who use it.

Personal Accountability, what the QBQ! book is all about, means continual learning on all fronts … even email. 👏🏻

What makes email work? The 3 Ts:

Timeliness

At QBQ, Inc., we love email. It’s the simplest and easiest way to serve our clients; it’s a no-brainer for us. So, we do lots of email and believe we do it well. We also do it quickly. Often, potential clients write back, “Wow, thanks for the fast response!” and “Appreciate you getting back to me so soon!”

Well, thank you, and you’re welcome, but why wouldn’t we? Are you not trying to pay us for services rendered (speaking engagements) and products shipped (books, training materials)?

For us, the old “sundown rule” applies—get back to people before the day ends, even if it’s only to say, “We got your request, and we’ll connect with you in the morning!” Inquiring prospects want to know that we know they exist and that we’re on the job.

Be Timely in your responses.

 Tone

Cheerfulness, gratefulness, joy, and a helpful attitude can be evident in an email. 

As can impatience, rudeness, and apathy.

A well-crafted email adds to the right tone. Start with a relevant “Subject” heading and a proper greeting, as in “Good morning, John!” Then, employ excellent word choice in short paragraphs pleasing to the eye, and close with a promise or a question. See? That wasn’t hard—but it is professional.

Of course, emails should end with detailed signatures. Ones that close with no name, title, or phone number bug me to no end. Like … who am I dealing with here??? 

Maybe that’s just me. 🙄

But seriously, as Frank Burns states in M*A*S*H, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” Let’s be nice. Or, as Mom used to say, watch your Tone.

Tuned-in

Call it the “personal touch.” Skilled emailers are in sync with the other person. They ponder …

Is the person on the other side of this exchange curious, unhappy, angry? Is there a problem to solve? Are they “browsers” or “buyers”? What precisely are they seeking?

Striving to understand people is our job when emailing. Being in tune with others is the goal. Of course, this requires outgoing emails to be custom jobs—not canned templates.

Go ahead, make it personal. When we show we’re in tune with our customers, trust grows, and trust leads to, well, everything good.

Do you Tune In?

Wrong Way, Right Way

With my credit card in my hand, I emailed a Florida resort seeking clarification of their website photos. My wife and I wanted to understand where the various villas were located relative to the ocean. I received this terse response: “You need to be on our website. Are you on our site?”

This would be called condescension, and for some odd reason, I don’t take condescension well. Do you?

I sent two web inquiries to another beachfront property using their contact form and received precisely -0- responses.

In comparison, a Los Cabo, Mexico resort, by email, answered my questions before sundown and with a smile and a real person’s name. Pablo informed me he was delighted to help and looked forward to the Millers joining them in the sun. His response was timely, possessed a perfect tone, and he was tuned in to our needs.

Which establishment did we choose? 😉

In summary, email isn’t new; by now, we all should have it mastered. Has your organization? How about you? Which of these—Timeliness, Tone, and being Tuned In—do you need to improve?

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