I just learned a valuable lesson. I had a person sign up to learn more about my work-at-home business. She came in through a coop I was participating in and was a bit confused as to why she received communication from the person who ran the coop as well as me. She simply wanted to know who I was. I responded to her in my normal, witty manner.
The problem was that she didn’t know me and she wasn’t impressed with my response. In fact, she was actually insulted. She was kind enough to remind me of the old saying,” You never have a second chance to make a good first impression.”
As I thought about this I came to realize that when dealing with people that you don’t know and that don’t know you, you really need to take care in how you respond and interact with others.
So, I wrote a few “Follow-Up Etiquette Tips” that seems appropriate.
Too often we may receive an e-mail or have a message on our answering machine that we just put off responding to. That person was kind enough to take the time to learn more about what we are offering. We owe it to them to respond to them as quickly as possible. After all, it will be a benefit to us to do so.
Take the time to think of a good response to the question
Be prepared before you return the call. Read and reread a response to an email. Make sure you have answered the question or be as prepared as possible to do so.
Don’t try to be too clever or witty with your response
Although you may try to be funny, the person you are dealing with may take it a different way and actually be insulted.
Do not request delivery and read receipts
Simply ask the person in the body of the email to let you know that they got your message.
Don’t use abbreviations
There are many email abbreviations used in order to save time in typing. But many of them are confusing and can be misunderstood.
Keep it short, simple, and to the point
Remember, a person’s time is valuable. They want their question answered in as little writing as possible. They don’t want to read a novel.
Be courteous and polite
Even if you are asked a question that you have already answered or that the answer seems obvious, take the time to explain it. Do not make the other person feel “stup*d” for asking the question. There are many other “etiquette” guidelines. These are just a few that I have personally learned.
The bottom line
Be courteous and polite. Even if you are asked a question that you have already answered or that the answer seems obvious, take the time to explain it. Do not make the other person feel “stupid” for asking the question. There are many other “etiquette” guidelines. These are just a few that I have personally learned. The bottom line is this: When someone wants to know about you and your business, you owe it to them to respond quickly, clearly, and professionally.