Smartphones have taken over as THE business communication tool that many rely on to run their businesses. With that amount of use — and dependence — comes situations and dilemmas that many aren’t sure how to address.
At the core of any etiquette discussion is that you think about how your actions, or lack thereof, can affect others. What is unique about business texting is that it requires prudence and should only be used when necessary and apropos.
- Never text business associates, partners or clients without an invitation or first asking permission to do so.
- Refrain from uninvited texting outside of business hours.
- Do your very best to avoid acronyms and abbreviations.
- Texts should be used sparingly; not as a replacement for a more detailed e-mail or phone conversation.
- Only mass text when all parties have agreed to participate.
- Do not text when in meetings with business associates (this includes lunch/dinner) in order to provide your full attention — and respect.
- Do not relay bad news via a text message (“Sorry you didn’t get the contract.”).
- Do not use texts to change schedules or meeting time/place/dates. Participants may not read the text in time.
- When expecting a business text, do your best to respond promptly.
- Refrain from being a digital stalker by calling, then e-mailing and then texting about the same subject you want an answer on. Unless truly urgent, choose the one most apropos mode of communication.
Don’t fall into the trap that just because everyone else is texting irresponsibly that makes it tacitly okay for you to do the same. Are you a lemming or a leader?
We text because it is easier when more times than not a phone call or e-mail would have been more beneficial. Tap, tap, tap and we get our message out — our primary narcissistic goal achieved. Certainly this is not a professional approach to running a successful business, is it?
Yes, there is a time and place for business texting — but texting should not be your primary modus-operandi. Use discretion and your better judgement when sending texts for business purposes and you’ll be perceived as a true professional who has discretion (a rare trait now-a-days) and is a pleasure to do business with. And that my friends is money!