When presenting business cards in Asia, it is supposedly customary to hold out the business card in both hands and bow slightly towards your recipient. Although we do not share similarly refined traditions in business, we could learn a lot from international business etiquette in our own daily dealings with clients and vendors alike.
Clients and suppliers have the potential to put long-term business our way and vice versa so there is no reason why this same consideration and respect for individuality should not be taken when addressing clients via email. Email exchanges can be very limiting compared to face-to-face interaction but it is up to individual companies to present themselves in the best possible light.
Follow these etiquette tips when composing business emails to help you create a professional and more memorable online presence.
Subjecting clients to confusing waffle and ambiguous messages can easily cut short a long-held and valuable business relationship. To avoid this risk, simply keep your emails concise – between 50 and 100 words is a good length. If this seems unworkable, try to gradually cut down on your email word count – your clients will appreciate it and even keep in touch more.
Make your intentions clear
Aside from keeping to a short and concise message, don’t forget to keep the intentions of your subject matter clear to clients and vendors. If the purpose of your email is to notify a change of contact details or introduce a new product or service for example, do not paste Shakespearian quotations into the email. Keep it relevant, informative and to the point.
Consider your subject field carefully
How you choose to format your ‘Subject’ text can make all the difference towards engaging a response from your recipient. Be too over-bearing with the Caps lock button or too long and you run the risk of appearing spammy. Additionally, using all lower case and being too generic will lead people to assume you are neither enthusiastic about your services or your customers. In short, both result in losing the attention of a promising client or vendor once and for all so consider your subject line carefully.
Understanding business etiquette is essential to maintaining and strengthening valuable relationships in business and how you choose to approach clients can make or break long-held contacts.
Whether the majority of your contact with other businesses is made via email or not, the same diligence should also be carried into the more traditional forms of exchanging information. Professional parcel delivery firms such as TNT Direct make light work of sending business-to-business mail, allowing you to track parcels in real time to ensure smooth business dealings as well as leaving fellow clients with a very favourable impression.