I know we live in a world of email, text messages and Twitter, but I often times wonder if others realize what their messages look like on the receiving end?
I have to assume that many of the people who write to me are very busy, too busy to take a minute and read their communications and see if they are going to make any sense to someone not knowledgeable about what they might be talking.
The problem goes well beyond the issue of “outgoing signatures” which I mention on a frequent basis. (If you don’t know what an outgoing signature is, you should suspect immediately that this editorial is about you. Please don’t write to me and ask. That is what the HELP pull down is all about in your email program.)
The latest variation on this theme are the messages I get requesting a password for the Members Only section of our website. I have to assume that it saves you a lot of time to use the “Subject” section to submit your request, and that the time it might take for you to write me a short “warm fuzzy” about how much you enjoy being a member of The FENG and appreciate getting the newsletter is too much to ask.
I will tell you the truth. I am actually not easily offended. (I worked in the advertising business for 9 years and I developed a VERY thick skin.) My concern is that you HAVEN’T singled me out for “punishment,” but rather that you treat EVERYONE this way.
I also realize that some of you do not touch type. While many of us can comment on our wasted youth, instead of shooting pool, I took a full year of typing and I am absolute smoke on a keyboard. (I know you wondered how I get so much done. This is one of the reasons why.) While I do sympathize with those of you who hunt and peck, it is no excuse for not taking the time to write proper messages.
If I may quote my dear friend Doug Fine who Co-Chaired The FENG for many years: “Don’t make your first impression your last.” Again, I don’t ask that you do this just for me. I will always forgive you. Others may not.
Every communication you send to others needs to show that you care and have taken the time to make their life easy. This would especially be a good idea if you are asking them for a favor.
I have gotten messages from members asking me to call them to discuss an upcoming interview… usually tomorrow… that don’t have a preferred phone number or even one at all. As they say, you can’t make this stuff up. (Did I mention that most of them aren’t signed either?)
We get “Requests for Assistance” every day that don’t include contact information. I have to wonder where folks think they are sending these requests. Are they really expecting others to look them up in our membership directory to research who they are and how to reach them? Fortunately, in most cases you have Leslie Mahoney “watching your back” and she adds this information.
A similar story applies to leads that are sent in. Is the format of our leads so difficult to follow? If you have been reading the newsletter every night, is it possible you could COPY the format so Leslie doesn’t have to add your chapter? (Surely there is an old newsletter on your desk somewhere.)
And for those of you who have been fortunate to have been named Robert, William, Joseph, Matthew (that’s me), or any of the 100’s of other names whose owners go by some nick name, could you somewhere in your message mention what that is? It would sure help if I (or someone else you have written to) did something impulsive like CALLED YOU.
It is honestly like a bad skit on Saturday Night Live. “Hi, is Joseph there? Please call me Joe.” Make it easy and put it in your message so I will know. (It’s called a “greeting to use.”)
Again, I know you are very busy. That said, consider that others might be busy as well.