A Cool Email Communication Tip
If I sent you an email that said: “The Big Bear is being replaced by Giant Eagle.” you probably would have no idea what I was talking about. First you would try to figure out what “Big Bear” and “Giant Eagle” meant. You would surmise that these must be important names because they are capitalized – but you still don’t have enough information to go on.
At this point you have only 3 possible choices:
1. Delete the email and forget about it;
2. Reply to my email and ask me to what I am referring to; or
3. Take a guess.
Most people do not like to appear they misunderstood something, so the majority of people faced with this or a similar situation will try to guess at the meaning. If you live in California, you may think “Big Bear” is referring to Big Bear Lake. If you live in Arizona on an Indian Reservation, you may think “Big Bear” is an Indian name and refers to an actual person. And if by some chance another person with an Indian name of “Giant Eagle” existed – my email could be totally misunderstood and cause my Indian friend to tell others about how a man named Big Bear is near death and will be replaced by a man named Giant Eagle. (Sound too far-fetched? Misunderstandings that turn into catastrophes like this happen every single day.)
But if you lived in Columbus, Ohio – you would automatically understand that “Big Bear” and “Giant Eagle” are two grocery store chains. So in my original email I should have really said: “The Big Bear grocery store is being replaced by the Giant Eagle grocery store.” By simply adding the words “grocery store” for clarity – I could send my email to anyone in the world and they would probably understand what it meant without question.
The point of this article is that YOU need to think about the person receiving your email before you click the SEND button. Just because you understand what your email means, doesn’t mean the person receiving your email will know what you mean. I get emails from people (including attorneys) every day with messages like: “I contacted you about 9 months ago. Do you remember me?” There is no name, no phone number and no other information but I am supposed to remember some unknown person that I spoke to 9 months ago. Come on folks! I don’t know of anyone on the planet earth who could do this.
Or perhaps you are one of those people like me. You always make sure you write clear and concise emails. You also review them before clicking the SEND button and you consider yourself to be pretty good with your email communication. But one day you get an email like “The Big Bear is being replaced by Giant Eagle.” Which one of the three choices listed above would you choose to do in order to handle this email? Would you choose to “guess” at the meaning like everyone else? If so, you need to think about a very simple solution – and that is to simply click the “REPLY” button and say: “Please clarify your statements so that I may sufficiently handle your request.”
Yes … it’s sad that the Big Bear grocery stores were replaced by the grocery store chain, Giant Eagle. For one thing, the Big Bear stores had the best deli food in the city and prepared excellent trays for many corporate functions in and around Columbus. But the real question here is: “Did you learn anything to improve your email communication skills by reading this article?” I hope so. I also hope to receive more email messages in the near future that are clear and concise so that I can accurately respond to them.
About the Author
Victoria Ring has authored 35 books and 850 articles to help others start and expand their businesses. Other books and products developed by Victoria Ring, including additional copyright free articles are available at http://www.victoriaringconsulting.com or sign-up for Victoria's new training class, "How to Make More Money as a Notary Signing Agent" at http://www.50statenotary.com/classes/course01/index.html