This post is geared to those that feel they can improve on their professional email relationship building skills.
If you need a favor and can’t think of someone right away to help you (or won’t help) – you can improve your (email) relationship building skills.
Tip #1 – Reply Back.
If you email (or Facebook message, text, etc) someone you have not talked to in a long time asking a question or a favor and they reply back – send an email back thanking them. Even if they could not help you. If they took the time to read, think if they can help you or not, you need to thank them for trying.
If you don’t, it makes it very clear that you don’t really care about that persons time, and you are only after your own needs. No one wants to be friends with or do business with a selfish person. It is a sure way to burn that bridge.
Tip #2 – No one knows who you are.
The person reading your email has no idea how you speak or how smart & creative you are or that you just donated $1 million to orphans right before you sent this email. The only way they can judge you is by the spelling, grammar and content in your email, so use proper english. Spelling mistakes happen, and do your best to avoid these (very easy with all the spell checkers built into every email system) but please don’t use acronyms like thnkyu or pls. Even if you are replying on your iPhone, take the time to write properly.
Tip#3 – The military have it right when it comes to addressing people.
Know your place. If you are younger, don’t call the other person buddy. If this is your second email to the person ever, don’t shorten their name from Richard to Dick. This does not mean your email has to be dry and boring like a robot wrote it, but understand that just because you like people calling you buddy and like your name shortened, others might not. If gravity, light and even time itself can be relative – then so can personal preferences. Take some tips from the military ranking structure and have a little formality when you address people.
For the first 10 emails until you know each other, stay formal. Even if you do know the person and have met, still stay formal unless you have built a personal relationship. When in doubt, keep it formal.