Being a strong communicator is crucial to success in just about any job, in any industry. Communication and interpersonal skills paired with knowledge and confidence will get you far in the professional world. There’s no rule book when it comes to what mode of communication is appropriate in today’s changing technological work force, but there’s some good habits to live by. Here’s a few tips on communication etiquette and when/what channel of delivery is appropriate for professional encounters.
As DAA’s President, Mike Daley, can often be quoted saying, “Get back to the basics. Pick up the phone. Get the job done.” Cell phone, work phone, desk line… it’s all the same. Our general rule of thumb is to initiate a conversation with a phone call or voicemail, and then follow up with email. Once you get into the groove of the conversation, it’s smooth sailing, but here are a few simple rules when it comes to phone etiquette:
- Pick up the phone by the second or third ring.
- Use a positive, yet formal greeting such as “Good Morning” or “Hello (name)”.
- Personalize the conversation. Make the person on the other end of the line feel respected, heard, and important.
- Smile and be animated. Use the nonverbal cues that you would in a face-to-face conversation, which will affect the tone and energy of your voice.
When a phone conversation isn’t appropriate or convenient, email may be the way to go. Professionals are often times on the go, to and from meetings/appointments, but what’s nice about today’s world of business is that people are most likely checking their email between each of those meetings. Business relationships are still developed at a much faster and stronger rate via real time talk, so it’s important to not rely too heavily on solely email. A few tips on general email structure:
- Keep the message short and sweet. Try not to be too wordy and keep the length minimum.
- Subject line is key. If it’s someone you know well, keep the subject relevant and to the point. If you are sending out a blind email, be catchy, creative, and engage with the individual.
- Address the receiver properly. Use names and prefixes. Use appropriate greetings and signatures and signatures; when it doubt, be more formal.
B2B Texting…Where we’re headed?
Text messaging; we all do it, all the time. Although primarily used for personal use, we’re seeing it become a more popular form of communication for businesses to yield faster response times. According to Pew Internet, texting is the most widely and frequently used app on a smartphone with 97% of Americans sending/receiving test messages daily. About 80% of people use texting for business and 15% of people’s text messages are related to business. Over 25% of marketers are using texting and over 65% of them say it has been effective. Depending on the nature of the relationship (and business), texting can or cannot be an appropriate method, but take a look at these interesting facts that might prove this is the way business communication is heading:
- 72% of business professionals prefer texting
- 80% of people have used texting for business conversations
- 15% of peoples text messages are related to business
- Over 25% of marketers are using texting and over 65% of those say its effective
- 44% of people would rather receive marketing messages through text messaging
- 64% of consumers are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers texting as a means of communication and/or support
Texting Statistics for Businesses: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/45-texting-statistics-prove-businesses-need-take-sms-gigi-peccolo
Email Etiquette Tips: http://www.hubspot.com/sales/email-etiquette-tips
Rules for Business Correspondence: http://careerplanning.about.com/od/communication/a/email_etiquette.htm