It’s okay to skimp on the text when you’re sending a grocery list to your spouse or an invite to an old college friend, but when dealing with business associates, partners and clients, it’s always better to err on the side of formality. It’s tempting to just jot down a note and send it without a second thought, but you should always go back and edit for clarity. What you think sounds perfect in your head could be confusing to whoever receives your memo. Create folders in which to save old emails that you may need again in the future.
You don’t ever want to have the wrong information, as this makes you look like you haven’t done your homework! Business communications should be direct and to the point. They should also be written so that a person on the other side of the country could instantly understand what you’re talking about. If you have even the slightest suspicion that something you’ve written could be lost in translation, skip it. The subject line is not only your recipient’s first introduction to the content of your message, it’s also one key to keeping your message out of the spam box. If your messages aren’t getting through to your intended recipient, it could be that they’re being marked as spam. Sometimes, an email or a text just isn’t enough.
Putting a face to a name and a palm to a palm is still the best way to communicate complex ideas and make a good impression, so don’t shy away from person-to-person meetings. Good communication begins with an understanding of what the other party is talking about. Always listen and give your undivided attention, instead of trying to interject too quickly with your own thoughts. Think before you open your mouth.
Don’t get distracted by topics that are irrelevant to why you chose to meet in the first place. It’s easy for your train of thought to derail, but business communication is different than interpersonal communication. There’s always a point you’re trying to get across, so stick to it! Keeping professional boundaries sacred is important in business communication.