When you make first contact with a potential new customer or employer, a first impression is made. That impression may very well determine even if you get a response. The last thing you want to do is squander this one-time opportunity!
Your first contact must be dressed to impress!
First Contact Tips
Your first contact should be structured to be clear and concise. You want to make it evident that you will not be a time-waster by providing the information needed to respond. When you do not offer clarity in your communications unnecessary responses are required. Why make cause others to wonder if communicating with you will cause them to be inefficient?
Being a one woman show with myself, I can speak from experience. By virtue of that first contact email, I get a pretty good idea as to whether a potential inquirer is one I can confidently work with.
For example, when I receive an inquiry that does not include the basics of Business Email Etiquette, I can assume that the inquirer will consume more of my time. Not just in email communications but throughout the course of other project tasks. I hate being made inefficient. This can also cause my customer service levels to suffer to my established clientele.
So, do I take that risk? Would you?
Recruiters, HR and Management Agree
Recruiters and management personnel have relayed this same dilemma to me on a regular basis. When employees or candidates do not send business email communications reflecting they are willing to take the necessary time and thought before clicking Send, that first impression is formed. It is a window in to what can be expected moving forward.
How can you possibly be considered for a position that will require email communication skills that you clearly either do not possess or are unwilling to practice? Being most jobs now require some level of email skill this is a serious consideration.
Simple things like making sure that you spell names correctly. That you proofread for grammar and tone. Integrating a respectful level of informality and professionalism. That you take the time to type in properly structured complete sentences.
Don’t forget making the extra effort to include the necessary information and detail the other side needs to promptly respond to your inquiry. Imagine how you will stand heads and shoulders above others making the very same inquiries!
Email IS Opportunity
Every email you send is a building block for opportunity. The opportunity to impress a potential new customer, employer, supplier or vendor. An indication that you should be considered over your perceived competition.
Use each and every email you send, even after that first contact, as a tool to encourage and build upon that all so important positive perception.
Your first contact is that one-time shot at a great first impression!