Communications are vital to all businesses. We communicate our message to the public in order to gain new customers or prospects and to clarify any misunderstandings about our business and its offerings. We must be able to communicate in clear, concise terms, making everyone with whom we communicate understand and like what we do.
Our communications must be professional and welcoming to others; it must make them want to know more. Our communications should, if they cannot convince someone to purchase from us, convince them to refer us to someone else who may need what we have to offer. We must demonstrate our passion for what we do, as well as make others comfortable with our desire to relate to them on a personal level.
Then why do we do things that make us seem cold and impersonal, making it difficult for someone to see us as anyone with whom they would enjoy doing business? Why do we act like the public is our adversary, to be held at arm’s distance? It just does not make sense to ignore the basic level of professionalism and discard steps which would actually make others eager to engage in business with us.
All of us send emails, whether to prospects, customers, friends, relatives, acquaintances, or even strangers. Why do we send emails that have spelling, grammar, and other errors, that are obviously not read before we send them? Why do we send emails that do not have our business logo, our email address, our telephone number, and website address in the signature section, if we even include a signature section?
Emails sent from our smart phones should also fit these rules, if we are to be perceived as professional. The steps to include these steps are simple and easy to implement. There are a number of other professionals who can help us to incorporate them into our emails, even if we use a service to send emails for us. Even text messages should have something identifying the sender to the person receiving the message.
Our voicemail systems allow each of us to incorporate a greeting. We should include our name, perhaps our business name, and welcoming words in the greeting. We should never use the impersonal greeting that is “stock” in every voicemail system. The caller is trying to reach us, not the person “at 123-456-7890”. If you use a service which asks the caller to identify themselves before the call is put through, stop that practice immediately. Either take the call or provide a greeting asking for a message.
The purpose of voicemail is to allow someone to leave a message so that the call may be returned with knowledge of what the caller needs. Listen to the message and return the call. To do less is unprofessional, and we may discover that they are just the person with whom we want to do business. Perhaps they will refer us to someone with whom we need to speak in order to further our business.