Just when you think you’ve seen it all! I thought I would share this story with you in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
This week I had an individual send me an e-mail. Here is what it said:
Please call me immediately. I have some questions about working with you.
Then, this person’s signature file followed with all their contact information. No “Hello” or “Hi”, no thank you in advance or more information about what the questions pertained to.
Hmmm… From a business perspective do first contact phone requests give me a warm fuzzy in regard to what working with the sender may entail. Not so much.
So, I called within an hour of receiving her e-mail. She was on a “smoke break.” I left my name, number and message that I was “returning her e-mail” and that she could give me a buzz back after her smoke break or at her convenience. She did not return the call that day…
The next day, I get a forwarded copy of the first e-mail! This is prime example of incorrect use of e-mail. No comments added, no “sorry I missed your call” — nada! Clearly an unprofessional approach. I guess this was her way of saying “Call me!” which I did — and again, not available. At that point I no longer had an incentive to encourage further communications.
Why would I want more of the same?
Eventually this person did pick up the phone and call me after I did not respond to the 2nd forward of the original e-mail. Her phone call further solidified my first impression. She talked like she typed and she was not going to be the boss of me.
E-mail is not meant to avoid picking up the phone and calling someone whose help you need or that you want to talk to. This goes for personal e-mails too. If you want to talk to someone — pick up the darned phone, pull it out of your pocket or purse and dial their number!
If you get their voice mail, I can understand at that point sending an e-mail stating that you are sorry you missed them asking if they would please give you a call at their convenience.
What do you think this type of “first contact” says about you as a potential customer, client,
partner, associate? It isn’t going to leave a positive impression. (That’s why I struck out partner; clearly this behavior would indicate a one way “relationship”.)
Just another example of how simple actions or choices can make a big difference in how you will be perceived and your ability to achieve mutually respectful relationships.