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Kelly Mallozzi

Success.In.Print

By Kelly Mallozzi

About Kelly

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
 
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

 

Rate Your e-Tiquette

7
 
I am flummoxed. (Great word, huh?) Lately I have come in contact with several businesses and individuals who have very rude e-mail etiquette. The biggest complaint that I have is a lack of response.

Maybe I’m alone here, but I feel like if I send an e-mail and receive no response, it’s kind of like shouting in the abyss. In fact, it’s kind of like writing a blog...with no comments. You have no idea whether anyone is reading you or not.

When you send an e-mail and get NOTHING in response, how do you know it was received? How do you know the little Internet gremlins did not steal into your outbox and delete that message before it reached its destination?

How is YOUR e-tiquette? I am going to define a few key areas, and ask you to give yourself a grade. If you do not score high marks, it may be time to take a look at your e-behavior and make some changes to make sure that you are not losing clients or mistreating your vendors.

1. RECEIVING COMPLAINTS — Last week, I sent an e-mail to a cleaning company to tell them why I would no longer be using its services. I was respectful and very specific. That was five business days ago and I have yet to receive any kind of response, or even an acknowledgment that my message was read.

If you receive this kind of e-mail from a client or prospect, it is very important that you very quickly acknowledge it, thank them for their candor, and apologize for the incident. Of course, the next step would be to take action, if necessary, and report that back to the client when appropriate.

Rate yourself:  How quickly do you respond to complaint e-mails?
  • 3 points for “within 24 hours”
  • 2 points for “within 48 hours”
  • 1 point for “when I can get to it”

2. ACKNOWLEDGING A QUOTE OR REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
— As salespeople, we often have call to work with another vendor or partner, and often that can include a request for a quote. When you receive that quote, it is only considered polite to respond with a quick “Got your quote. Thanks, we’ll let you know by xx/xx/xxxx.”

I am chalking this one up to, “Treat others as you wish to be treated, too.” Wouldn’t it be SO nice if our clients and prospects actually did this? So let’s agree to lead by example. If a client writes you to request a quote, instead of just submitting the quote to estimating, immediately answer with a “Thank you so much for this request. I will have your response within “x” hours/days.” It’s just good manners, folks.

Rate yourself: Do you acknowledge requests for information from vendors/clients?
  • 3 points for “always”
  • 2 points for “usually”
  • 1 point for “rarely”

3. BEING THOROUGH AND PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO EACH E-MAIL
— I am guilty of this one, especially if I am in a hurry. There are often questions or details embedded in an e-mail that I tend to miss. If a person asks me if my family is well, asks how my weekend was, or inserts another little question (or sometimes a BIG question), it is important that I respond in kind.

For example, “I hope this message finds you well.” Should be responded to with, “We are all well here and hope the same is true for all of you. Thank you for your message!” It’s just nice.

Take your time. Read the message a few times before you shoot off a quote. Remember, even though we are living in high tech times, people deal with you in part because you are a human being. So act like one.

Rate yourself: How closely and carefully do you read each e-mail and pay attention to the small details?
  • 3 points for “always”
  • 2 points for “usually”
  • 1 point for “rarely”

So what is YOUR score?
  • 9 points — You are an e-mail etiquette super star. Keep up the good work!
  • 6-8 points — There is some room for improvement, but all it will take is a little time and more attention
  • Less than 5 points — You have GOT to up the ante here, and start treating e-mail like voicemail messages. Respond, acknowledge and, remember, you are being graded!
Drop me a line here and share your score, your thoughts, or any other observations you have to share. Your feedback is MUCH appreciated!
 

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