Email Tips

Some reminders while using email:

Collect Emails: With the low cost of email communications, email trumps more costly marketing methods such as direct mail and telephone. A study by Jupiter Research found email campaigns targeted with web analytics can produce 18 times the profits of broad mailings. Relentlessly collect customer and lead email addresses all the time. Use a contact management program to handle your growing list.

Remove Obstacles: Customers want fast and easy communication from companies they want to do business with. Your website contact page should have your email address. Asking web visitors to fill in a form to send a simple mail will stop many in their tracks. Gather more customer information once you have gained the initial contact. If you are worried about being spammed, invest in a good spam protection program.

Avoid Sensitive Issues: Never handle sensitive issues by email. The chance for miscommunication can make matters worse. There are times when you need to pick up the phone or set up a face-to-face contact instead of taking the easy way out with email. When you are full of emotions, stay clear of your email.

Handle at one time: Don’t fall into the trap of reading emails and thinking I’ll respond later. Later never arrives and soon your inbox is full of important and unimportant mail. Scott Allen, Co-Author of “The Virtual Handshake” recommends “Most people configure their email reader to interrupt them every time an email comes in. This means you are interrupted throughout the day. Instead, we suggest keep your email reader closed most of the day. Only check email once a day.”

Limit length: We all lead busy, time-pressed lives. Receiving a long-winded email with one big paragraph creates a response to file for later use. Readers have a tendency to skim and miss critical details. Before you send out your email message, edit down to short sentences, add bullet points, and be concise. When someone opens your email they should be able to know within 10 seconds or less what your message is about.

Forecast the Future of your Business

Develop meaningful sales forecasts in terms of basic business units. Weekly sales for the first months and monthly sales for the first year. Consider possible scenarios, such as a 15 percent rise or fall in sales.

Research your products or services, customers and markets.

What methods does the customer use in purchasing?

Plan how you will make your product or service available to them─wholesale, retail, direct or Internet.

Develop a plan or strategy to follow if your sales forecasts completely miss your predictions.

Vendor Relationships

Solid vendor relationships are essential in maintaining a successful organization.

1. Get to know your suppliers. Use new technology for communication, but don’t forget the personal touch of a phone conversation.

2. Consider your vendors as a part of your team and treat them as such.

3. Make sure they understand your needs and expectations.

4. Show appreciation for good service or for a new product that’s just right for you.

5. Pay on time. If you can’t, let your vendors know right away and work out a payment plan. That’s when knowing them personally will be invaluable.

Developing Policies for Your Business

It is important to have a clear definition of policy within the company, some basic tips:

A) Employees are your most important assets, so hire the best, provide training and growth opportunities, and recognize good performance.

B) Have a meaningful, concise and realistic job description for each employee. Make sure you review it with the employee and that it is understood.

C) Be sure employees know what is expected of them. Establish high standards of performance ethics.

D) Offer specialized training or skills enhancement to your current employees. Promoting from within encourages and motivates your greatest assets─your current workforce.
E) Create a New Employee Referral Bonus Program. Describe your needs in title and duties and offer a reward for your “most wanted.”

Having a concise plan is always a positive start.

Emotional Intelligence…Lacking

How do you deal with an individual at work that lacks Emotional Intelligence? A person that says random, possibly offense remarks, with no concern for the individuals around him/her. This person is upset about something, somebody or maybe has a strong opinion about a political candidate etc. Often we want to go right back with our opinions…. but why become part of that mess?

Instead pull the individual aside and try the direct “oh by-the-way approach. ” (Quite often an individual is so out of touch with their comments, they aren’t even aware they are being offensive)

It will come off more subtle and informative vs. offensive.

When addressing the individual, use “I” often to take ownership. Explain to the person that you thought that maybe they were unaware that the comments were offensive, and you were just letting them know for future reference. This should soften the reaction.

If you want to learn more about Emotional Intelligence take a look at the book:

“Measuring Emotional Intelligence” Written by Steve P. Simmons, M.Ed. and John C. Simmons

Teamwork

A big challenge in the world today is to have a strong team with a similar goal for the good of the company. A successful organization needs a strong team to maintain stability growth. “How do we do this?”

Team Work

A few ideas:

Take a day as a group and go work on something together where you can easily see what you’ve accomplished. For example, take your team out to plant trees or bushes at a local charity. Planting works well because it is easy to see how much your team has obviously accomplished . Many of our daily business activities do not show progress or accomplishment in an obvious way. Planting together is also good because it gives people a chance to talk while they plant and get to know each other better outside of work conversations.

Do a ropes course or something similar together. Rope courses are great team building activities. These courses help to build trust in your group and are important team building events. Groups can make use of a ropes-course for meetings, workshops, seminars, business training programs, etc.

Start a company Softball, or Soccer team. Again on the same team trying for the same goal (no pun intended).

There are many ways for a team to grow within an organization but it starts with trust. Get the group outside of the work environment and “make some things happen.”