Written By: Joanie Ogg CTC, MCC
Tom and I are in the process of buying a new home and selling our existing home. Needless to say the experience is exciting albeit hectic. We had an experience over the last several days that reminded me just how email messages can often damage a business transaction without the sender even knowing. For this reason, I am writing this month’s article sharing some tips I have uncovered on how to enable emails to actually say and get the results the sender is looking for.
Did it send?
This may sound like an extra step and not always necessary, however it can actually be very important. During our home buying and selling process we had asked a realtor in our area to give us their thoughts on valuation of our current home for listing purposes. We heard back via email in a timely fashion and responded in a timely manner asking for more clarification on some items. Four days went by and by day four we had pretty much decided this realtor was not who we wanted to be representing the sale of our home. If in fact they took so long to respond to us when the listing is sure to make them some great money, how comfortable would we be if they did not respond to prospective buyers in a timely manner?
On day five we received a very apologetic email saying that they had in fact responded in full to our questions, however they just discovered it had not sent and was still sitting in the out box. See what I mean? We had come to the conclusion that they either did not care to list our home, or they were simply not responsive and that we found concerning if in fact a potential buyer had the same kind of response time from the realtor.
Hint number one is to always check your outbox and draft box to assure messages you want to send, actually do send!
Did you get it?
Confirming receipt of an important email allows the sender to know you did actually receive the message. Even if you are not prepared to answer to all of the questions or to comment in detail, it is still a good idea to share that you received it and will be back to them with more information or answers. It is just common courtesy. It is not always necessary, but you will know when it is.
Hint number two is to consider confirming receipt of important emails to assure the sending party that you are on it!
Are you too wordy?
Before you decide to send the next email, scan it and remove at least one or more words. There is probably a word or more that are extraneous and just make you look like you are talking too much. The word “that” is one such word that I have to force myself to look for and delete often.
Hint number three is to look for the use of unnecessary words in your messages and shorten as applicable.
Are you succinct and to the point?
Do you ever start an email with something like this, “I know you are really busy and I do not mean to take up too much time….”. You probably do not need to say any of that at all. Too much introductory material just makes it harder for the receiver to actually know what the point of the email really is. Shorter and more concise emails are easier to read and often get better results.
Hint number four is to simply “get to the point”.
Is your close too long?
If your introductory sentences tend to be long and wordy, it is likely your closing remarks also contain too much fluff and more words then necessary. People tend to scan through emails and if you have too much unnecessary information, they are likely to miss what you really want them to see. By adding too much information at the end of an email, such as your schedule or when you expect a reply, you are making it more difficult and time consuming for the reader.
Hint number five is to close your messaging with just enough wording to save the valuable time.
Now that I have taken the time to write this, I find myself reading through the emails I have sent today to uncover just how I too can improve my messaging. I hope this helps you as it certainly is helping me!