Wow, this came on this week as I was requesting proposals for a future event. I was amazed at the lack of professionalism and time that potential vendors wasted. These deserve to be red-flagged just in case you have gotten too busy to pay close attention and might be losing valuable future clients the same way.
#1 Use my NAME. One of the biggest business (and personal) blunders you can commit is using the WRONG name. When you are moving so quickly and multi-tasking so much that you address me as Wendy and not Melissa, I don’t forget it. What I then wonder is what would happen if I did award you business (because you had a good price, product or program) would you know who I am? Would you care? And yes, this really happened in an email.
#2 Answer the Question Asked! When someone request specific information from you, give them that information or explain why you can’t. Don’t answer a request for a proposal with a generic price list when a specific proposal was requested. If you need more information, ask for it. It wastes the prospects time and makes you look ignorant when you dump generic information when specifics were requested.
#3 Respond Promptly! Even if you can’t get to the request right away, at least ACKNOWLEDGE you received it. If email isn’t a fit, pick up a phone. The worst thing you can do is nothing. Err on the side of too much service, not too little (that is far too common.)
#4 Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up! Email is unreliable at best today, even cell messages can go astray. Don’t ever presume (or assume) that someone got what you sent or left for them, follow up and invite a conversation. Reach out and connect, engage, and convert!
Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.