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First Contact Emails Demanding Phone Calls

Business Email First Contact Requests Demanding a Phone Call?

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, let me share a situation I experienced that may help you handle or avoid the same.

Danger, Will Robinson!

An individual who was interested in partnering with me sent me the following email:

Please call me immediately. I have some questions about working with you.

Then, a signature file followed with all their contact information. No “Hello” or “Hi,” no name, no thank you in advance. No information about what the questions pertained to.

So, I called within an hour of receiving the email. They were on a “smoke break.” I left my name, number, and message that I was “returning their email” and that they could buzz me back after their smoke break or at their convenience.

They didn’t call that day… or the next.

Four days later, I was forwarded a copy of the same email. (Really?) Pretty unprofessional (and bossy). I guess this was their way of saying, “Call me!” which I did — and again, unavailable.

Appearance of Professionalism or Not

Eventually, this person did pick up the phone and call me after I did not respond to the 2nd forward of the original email. Their subsequent voicemail and email noted that I needed to respond faster, thus avoiding playing “tag.”

At that point, I had promptly called twice and would not be bossed into a 3rd call. I had responded to their emails asking how I could be of service—no response was received. Apparently, everything had to be on their terms.

I didn’t return that last call or the following emails. The writing on the wall was clear that this would not be a person who would respect my time.

Words + Actions = Respect

Email is not meant to avoid picking up the phone and calling someone whose help you need. Nor is it to be used to forward your demands without comment. Or details.

Never underestimate how those who you are approaching for the first time to do business with are, at the same time, taking into consideration if they want to do business with you. Based on how you present yourself and how you choose to address them.

Being a one-woman show, I must screen those I take on for new projects. I’m only one person with a healthy list of those who depend on me to back them up.

Smarties realize that how I have my website set up caters to professionals. The wealth of information and features is there so they can do their homework about a professional partnership. (Maybe it’s a bit of a test on my part?)

Do they read my site? Do they respect my time? Can they follow instructions? Are they looking for a partnership, or do they want to be the boss of the relationship?

How potential new clients approach me gives me the answers to those questions. Insight into how, or if, we can work together on complex tasks necessary to produce any level of online success.

What’s with the “Danger, Will Robinson?”

For those not familiar with the above statement, it’s from the T.V. show Lost in Space:

Yeah, I’m probably dating myself. But I’m trying to make a point.

This is a prime example of how email should not be used in business communications. Specifically, business communications with new contacts who do not know you or whom you have not yet formed a relationship with.

I now have an opinion of what this person would be like to work with. This experience told me this potential client would be trouble. Trouble not worth getting into in the first place.

Don’t make that mistake when you make first contact.

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