An overlooked aspect of business success

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thank youWhen was the last time you received an email and were less-than-impressed when you read it?

More and more I’m noticing a trend where the basics of common courtesy are missing from email communications:

  • no greeting
  • no closing
  • perfunctory punctuation
  • and a general “tone” (which is extremely subjective) of terseness or rudeness (intended or not)

And, since another division of my business includes managing a team of Online Business and Marketing Implementation Experts (aka specially-trained virtual assistants), sadly, I see how some entrepreneurs and business owners write to team members (whether theirs or others).

It’s amazing how an email to me is wonderful and one to my assistant is demanding to the point of condescension.  We’ve refused to work with clients based on this “trait” alone.

Don’t get me wrong. . .I’m all for brevity.  And for those who are typing on their teensy smartphone keyboards, I get it and completely appreciate when they note something to the effect of “pls excuse brevity and typos, sending from my phone”.

This note isn’t about that. 

It’s about the others.

Those which, intentional or not, come across as passive aggressive and immediately turn off the reader.

Personally, I’ve refused joint ventures, turned away clients and passed on potentially lucrative opportunities when confronted with a lack of common courtesy.

Business, at its core, is about relationships.  In this day of “too much tech”, it’s more important than ever to stay personal, to keep the common courtesies which separate us from robots — this is especially true in service-based businesses.

Simple things, those which are easy to do and easy not to do, from email niceties to thank you cards are an overlooked aspect of business success. . .or failure.

Every communication, every action (or lack of) reflects on you as a business owner and the sum becomes your brand. 

What do you want to be known for?

Please share your thoughts and let me know if I’m spot on, hyper-sensitive or somewhere in between.