Saturday, December 13, 2008

Two HUGE Communication Mistakes

It amazes me that many business people continuously make two very disrespectful mistakes. These mistakes would be not communicating a thank you and non-responsiveness to emails. It may be from a lack of customer service training or basic business etiquette skills, or just plain time constraints, but none of these are any excuse for not thanking someone when they have done something for you or for not responding to emails.

Let's start with thank you's:

If someone does something for you whether you ask them to or not, send a thank you note! Jeez, did your parents not teach you to send thank you notes for all the ugly sweaters you got at Christmas? Whether it's an email or a card you mail, take the extra two minutes and show your gratitude (in writing!) - what comes around goes around and that's not just a saying, it's very true. Just think what happens when you get thanked for doing something - you feel appreciated and you're more apt to do a favor again. Everyone needs favors and everyone should give favors - thank you's help this interaction between people, businesses, friends, and strangers continue in a positive cycle. So, if you're one of those people who always seems to forget to say thank you - knock it off!

And now the email responses:

I can't tell you how many times I email a business as an introduction for a potential collaboration or even someone I have blogged about and never hear anything back. This is so rude! I was taught from my first job onward that you respond to all emails in a 24 hour period. Even if that email is "Thanks for contacting me, I'll keep your information on file." Or "THANK YOU (ahem - see above) for writing a positive article about me - it is much appreciated." Now, as I am in the business of spamming the press at times, I understand that PR people to them are sometimes like fleas on the family dog, but those times when I get a simple email back acknowledging they got the email - man do my spirits soar. But I am not talking about the press here, I am talking about other business folks who just ignore emails. Even a "I cannot respond right now as I am swamped but will get to it soon, or please follow-up with me in a few weeks." When it comes to the ignoring, I just don't get it. Why, especially in a small marketplace like Vermont, would you not want to build your network by communicating with people? That is how business gets done - the more people who know what you do the more your marketing dollars are going to pay off. You can't just expect that article that ran or the ad you bought to drive your business - you need to stay top of mind. And a huge way to counteract that is to be non-responsive when people email.

I guess this was more of a gripe, but also a lesson in business etiquette - send thank you's and don't ignore emails. Simple. Period. Try it for a while and I think you'll start to see a big difference. There are larger things at work than the sphere you rotate in.

Peace to All...

1 comment:

Russell Cavanagh said...

Great post. You're absolutely right! Ive even had people saying they're not interested in my proposals or services only to come back at a later date ... and I put a lot of this down to the easy goodwill of saying "thanks" and responding to emails.

Best wishes (from the UK)