• Jan 4, 2019

If you work in sales in any capacity, chances are you rely on e-mail more than just about any other form of communication. This reason alone should be enough to convince us of the importance of how we use it. In this article, I want to discuss five things you may be doing wrong when it comes to handling your e-mail. 


1. CHECKING YOUR E-MAIL TOO MUCH. According to researchers from the University of British Columbia, checking your e-mail too much is not good for you. While the words "too much" can be subjective, having specific times during the day (or specific limits as to how many times you check your e-mail within a day) is helpful. How often are you currently checking your e-mail? Do you have limits? Does your e-mail control you or do you control your e-mail? 


2. SDENING E_mAiLE WIHT BAD GRAMAR. Nothing screams "professional" like horrible grammar. Fortunately, most of this can be prevented if we only slow down when we are typing our e-mails. Sure, the occasional slip-up or mistake is going to happen. However, when the grammar and structure in your e-mail are consistently bad, it will strip you of all professionalism. 


3. EXCUSING BAD GRAMMAR. The only thing worse than bad grammar is excusing bad grammar. Does the following message sound familiar? "Please excuse any typos as I sent this message through my phone." I'm not judging or pointing fingers here, but think about what this message implies.

First, it implies you are in a hurry. This doesn't give the impression you are in control of your day. Second, it implies you didn't have enough time to properly check and read over your e-mail (therefore, chances are you didn't check over their e-mail either). Third, it implies the recipient is not important enough for you to send them an e-mail when you have the proper time. If you are in that big of a hurry and you need to correspond with your client, then a phone call or text message would be the proper avenue of communication. 


4. FAILING TO ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS. When you respond back to someone's e-mail and you fail to answer or acknowledge all of their questions, then you are communicating to that person that you don't pay attention to detail. Instead of communicating attentiveness and accuracy, you are communicating carelessness and neglect. Make sure you take the time to carefully read through your e-mails and acknowledge all questions before hitting that send button. 

5. TREATING E-MAIL AS INSTANT COMMUNICATION. In business, your clients will either train you or you will train them. If you are sending e-mails as soon as you receive them, then you are setting yourself up for failure. In doing this, you are training your clients to take full advantage of you. While there are times when you can instantly respond, this shouldn't be the goal. If you are trying to get in touch with someone immediately, then pick up the phone and dial their number. 

While there are many other mistakes that can be made with e-mail, these are five of the most common mistakes I have experienced and have also fallen victim to. Before you send your next e-mail, make sure you know what you are truly communicating. Not just in the words you type, but in the way you type them. Not just in the things you say; but how you say them. Now just in what your e-mail includes; but what it doesn't include. Are your e-mails communicating what you want them to? 

- Kevin Pendergrass


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