How to Make Your Email More Approachable, Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, do so here!

10. Make it quick. The speed of the response IS the response. And the medium IS the message. So, even if you don’t have the answer to a question or a problem right away, you can always drop a quick, one-line email that says, “Thanks for letting me know. I’m on it. Call ya this afternoon.”

ASK YOURSELF: Can you respond quicker?

11. Filter. When someone sends you a four-page email loaded with NO line breaks and 48 questions and comments, here’s how to handle it:

a. First, give it a quick once-over.
b. Next, go back and separate each section or question. (See, to make sure you address all of their concerns, you’ll be turning your reply email into a numbered list.)
c. Introduce your list with something like, “Thanks for all of your feedback! I’ve written a response to each of your questions below…”
d. Then, boldface their original thought and write your response underneath. This type of response shows organization AND openness to ALL their ideas.
e. Finally, close with your signature.

ASK YOURSELF: Are you breaking emails down enough?

12. Summary. Next time you have a detailed conversation with someone over the phone, suggest the following: “Hey Mark, I’ve been taking some notes on our conversation. Would you like me to email you a quick, bullet-point list of all the key points we’ve covered, just to make sure we’re both on the same page?”

99 times out of 100, the person will not only gratefully accept, but also be WOW’ed by your listening ability. Not to mention, you’ll have documentation of the conversation for future reference.

ASK YOURSELF: Are you on the same page as your clients?

13. Email introductions. This is a GREAT practice for bringing two people together that should meet, have something in common or can help each other. A few tips for an effective email introduction are:

a. Give a short background on each person.
b. Reference your relationship with each person.
c. Provide phone numbers, websites and email addresses.
d. Keep it short, casual and friendly.
e. Stress the idea of they can help each other or that you think they’d get along great.

ASK YOURSELF: What two people do you know who should meet?

14. Frequency. If you’re one of the Brave Souls who sets a boundary to only check your email a few times a day, good for you. Way to (not) be addicted to your Crackberry! Just remember, accessibility is still important.

So, in your email signature, consider letting people know about your new emailing-checking schedule. You may also want to include a number where people can either contact you or someone else who can help them in your e-absence.

ASK YOURSELF: Do you (really) need to check your email as SOON as the plane touches down? Come on, folks. Let it go. There’s no way you’re that important.

15. Fun with From. The “from” line is a PERFECT, yet underused hot spot for the of stamp your personal brand. Let’s say you’re known as “The Tax Law Queen.” Great! Put that instead of karen@taxlaw4u.com. It’s guaranteed to stand out among the hundreds of emails in your recipients’ inboxes, and probably get read first.

ASK YOURSELF: What makes your email stand out?

16. Architecture. The human attention span is about six seconds. First impressions occur in less than two seconds. And people receive hundreds of emails a day.

So, if you want people to actually READ your letters, the secret is to make your writing easy, quick, fun, approachable and, most importantly, digestible. I call this architecture. And it’s defined as, “The creative design and page presentation of a piece of writing.” For example:

o Make it bold.
o Make it a list.
o Make it italic.
o Make it chunky.
o Make it shorter.
o Make it ALL CAPS.
o Make it underlined.
o Make it b-r-o-k-e-n.
o Make it one word long.
o Make it one sentence long.
o Make it centered on the page.
o Make it bold AND underlined.

Ultimately, if your writing is laborious to get through, readers will just move onto the next email. Besides, people are probably doing three other things while reading your stuff. So, the minute your page presentation starts to bore them, they’ll probably move on.

ASK YOURSELF: 500 emails a day – why would they read yours?

17. Email less often. There’s no need to send piles of emails to your clients, customers and prospects constantly. Once or twice is enough. Any more than that, they’ll either think you don’t trust them, think you don’t have a life or think you’re desperate. (But in all cases, they’ll be annoyed.)

See, whenever someone’s ready to take the next step – to follow up WITH or open up TO you – they’ll do it because THEY want to. Not because you emailed them (again) just to “follow up,” “see if they have any further questions” or “check in to see how it’s coming along.”

Easy, Dilbert. They heard you the first time. Have a little faith! When they want you, they’ll find you. Patience.

ASK YOURSELF: Do I really need to send another email to this person?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How approachable is your email?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my list called, 65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started My Company, send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

Emotion means disturbance

The word “emotion” comes from the Latin emotere, which means, “To disturb.”

Which TOTALLY makes sense.

After all:

Emotions disturb your mind.
Emotions disturb your stillness.
Emotions disturb your awareness.

Emotions disturb the conversation.
Emotions disturb the listening process.
Emotions disturb the energy field between two people.

Now, this doesn’t mean emotions are bad.

It simply means they’re powerful.

And that if you don’t keep them in check, they will take over.

Careful.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Is this (really) the best time to get emotional?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For my list called, “8 Phrases That Payses to Reduce Emotional Reactivity,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What’s YOUR approach?

Join The Nametag Forums! Share stories, best practices and connect with a like-minded community of business professionals who stick themselves out there!

Stop using the word “try”

People who use the word “try” a lot usually don’ t accomplish much.

YODA WAS RIGHT: “There is no try. Only do, and do not.”

So, instead of “trying,” consider modifying your vocabulary with these substitutes:

1. I am…
2. I will…
3. I intend to…
4. My goal is to…
5. I’ll give it my best…
6. I’m getting better at…
7. I did the best I could…
8. I will make an effort to…
9. I’m making progress on…

REMEMBER: The more often you use the word “try,” the less progress you actually make.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How often do you use the word “try”?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Stop trying, start doing.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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I just can’t help but to…

It’s not about “marketing.”
It’s not about “branding.”
It’s not about “PR.”

It’s about IDENTITY.

Much better word.

It comes from the Latin identere, which means “over and over.”

So, when you’re trying to pinpoint your unique value – as an entrepreneur, as creative professional, as a PERSON – you need to discover your defaults.

The stuff you just DO.
The stuff you can’t NOT do.
The stuff you can’t HELP but to do.

Over and over.

That’s identity.

It’s what famed psychologist Erik Erickson described identity as, “The uniqueness and individuality that makes a person distinct from others.”

Here’s a set of questions to help you unlock yours:

1. When you work, what is the one thing you can’t NOT do?
2. When you meet someone, what is the one thing you CAN’T HELP but do?
3. When you create your art, what is the one thing you JUST do?
4. When you listen to someone, what is the one thing you CAN’T HELP but do?
5. When you start your typical day what is the one thing you JUST do?
6. When you go about your day, what is it that you CAN’T HELP but to BE?

IN SHORT: What is it … that’s just, SO you?

That’s identity. That’s who you are.

And it is a GIFT. Possibly the greatest gift in the world.

So, your duty is to uncover it, re-gift it, and use it to serve others.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What is it that you can’t help but to do?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “16 Questions to Uncover Your Natural-Born Expertise,” send an email to me and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What’s YOUR approach?

Join The Nametag Forums! Share stories, best practices and connect with a like-minded community of business professionals who stick themselves out there!

How to Make Your Email More Approachable, Part 1

1. Mix the medium. If the subject matter of your email is urgent, instead of emailing the person back, just pick up the phone and call. This is unexpected and usually appreciated.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Would this message be better communicated over the phone?

2. Use enticing subject lines. If you want people to open your emails FIRST, consider titling your messages with phrases like, “I saw something that made me think of you…” and “Someone paid you a compliment yesterday.” You could also use thought-provoking questions like, “Have you seen this article?” or “How many customers have you WOW’ed this week?

ASK YOURSELF THIS: 500 emails a day – why would someone open YOURS?

3. Email signature. You don’t need an entire novel at the bottom of every message. However, including (some) information and maybe a teaser to encourage a visit to your website is a great way to add a sense of accessibility AND personality to your emails. Just have SOMETHING. An email without a signature is a like phone call without a message or a letter without a return address.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Does your recipient even KNOW who sent the email?

4. But, remember the Cavemen. Prehistoric hunters learned to respond to ANY movement out in the prairie because it represented a threat – either from a giant, hungry animal or from other hunters. Eons later, the human brain has now evolved to filter out unchanging backgrounds.

See, familiar structures lead to mental laziness; which means there’s no need to pay attention. So, this relates to email in an interesting way: How often are you changing YOUR signature? Because after a while, people are just going to start ignoring it. Remember, the most effective way to attract people’s attention is to BR – EAK their patterns.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: How often do you change your signature?

5. Use mass emails sparingly. With the exception of major events like babies, job changes or health issues; or information updates like new phone numbers, locations or urgent memos, AVOID MASS ANYTHINGS (thanks, Harry Beckwith.) They annoy people. They get ignored. They get deleted.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: When was the last time you opened (or read with interest) a letter that was CLEARLY a mass email?

6. Keep it real. Email will never beat face-to-face interaction. Still, you DO enhance the level of friendliness when you write in a conversational tone. Use simple words. Write short sentences. And don’t be afraid to punctuate! Remember, if you write like you talk, people will listen. A good test is to read your emails aloud before sending. If it sounds like a training manual for a power plant, rewrite it.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Is your writing friendly enough?

7. Keep it H-U-M-A-N. Don’t try to impress someone by thesaurusizing your email with terms you wouldn’t use in person. It sounds diaphanous, limpid, and transpicuous.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Is that big word REALLY necessary?

8. Use Italics, Boldface and Punctuation! One of the pitfalls of emailing the inability to convey emotion. Often your correspondent won’t understand if you are serious or kidding, happy or sad, frustrated or euphoric … unless you are EXPRESSIVE! So, use italics bold, underline and the like to highlight key words that show the person exactly what you want to say. Otherwise, your opinions, statements and stories will be misinterpreted.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Is the architecture of your writing digestable?

9. Exclamation points. When used effectively and sparingly, exclamation points are awesome! They completely alter the emotion of the sentence. So, don’t be afraid to use them. On the other hand, you don’t need one in every sentence! People will think you’re on drugs! And they will freak out! Ahhh!!!!

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Are you scaring your email recipients?

– – –

By the way, this article was longer than I expected, so part 2 is coming soon!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How approachable is your email?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my list called, 65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started My Company, send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

On punching people in the face

You can’t count on people to connect the dots.

Not any more, at least.

Here’s why:

1. There are an infinite amount of messages, noise and choices.
2. Attention spans are rapidly diminishing.
3. People (seem to) have ZERO time.
4. People (seem to) have even less patience.
5. Service offerings are poorly defined.
6. Nobody (really) knows what you actually do.
7. And customers crave simple.

So, you need to make it really, really obvious.

In person.
On your website.
Within your marketing materials.

IN SHORT: You need to punch people in the face.

Not literally, of course.

Respect is always your marketing mantra.

However, in order to win the battle against the Attention Economy, it’s almost as if you need to grab hold of people by their shirt collars and say, “Listen to me! Right here! OK, yes, you. This is exactly what I want you to do…”

See, complexity generates contemplation.

And contemplation kills sales.

You need to punch people in the face.

Several examples:

o When people come to your website, they need to know (IMMEDIATELY) what it is you want them to do.

o When you’re giving a speech, people need to know (IMMEDIATELY) what you want them to look at on the screen.

o When you’re finished sharing any form of information, people need to know (IMMEDIATELY) what the call to action is.

You need to punch people in the face.

NOTE: This philosophy may sound a little rash – even unapproachable, yet it CAN be done with respect. And tact. And without overly interrupting people’s daily lives, yet still getting your message through.

JUST REMEMBER: Your customers are busier, faster and more overloaded than ever before.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are they going to remember YOU?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “74 Qualifying Questions to Test the Net Worth of Your Company Tagline,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

In defense of without

So, I’ve been studying a lot of the Tao De Ching lately.

Got me thinking about the concept of “without.”

Examples:

Work without rewards.
You’ll get more done.

Compete without results.
You’ll have more fun.

Nurture without possessing.
You’ll become less attached.

Give without condition.
You’ll become more fulfilled.

Govern without self-importance.
You’ll lead most effectively.

Have without possessing.
You’ll be less upset when you lose it.

Lead without controlling.
You’ll inspire and empower.

Lead without dominating.
You’ll (actually) get people to follow you.

See without preference.
You’ll see even more.

Teach without words.
You’ll have more students than ever.

Perform without actions.
You’ll get a standing ovation every time.

Give without expecting.
You’ll get it back eventually.

Illuminate without dazzling.
You’ll make the best impression.

Act without expectation.
You’ll be cool and focused.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your example of a “without” philosophy?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “157 Pieces of Contrarian Wisdom,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How do you leave people?

1. Do you leave people wondering?
Because you enlisted their creativity.

2. Do you leave people wanting more?
Because you emotionally engaged them.

3. Do you leave people curious?
Because you built a frame of interest and intrigue.

4. Do you leave people laughing?
Because you helped them evoke the humor in their own lives.

5. Do you leave people inspired?
Because you enabled them to give birth to their own realizations.

6. Do you leave people thinking differently about themselves?
Because you challenged them apply something to their own lives.

7. Do you leave people feeling good about themselves?
Because you honored, respected and made them feel essential.

8. Do you leave people thinking, in general?
Because you asked pointed, creative and penetrating questions.

9. Do you leave people reevaluating?
Because something you said made them confront themselves.

10. Do you leave people relieved?
Because you actually listened to them.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you leave people?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my list called “20 Ways to Make Customers Feel Comfortable,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

The more imitatable you are, the less valuable you are

That being said, ask yourself these questions:

1. How many other people do what you do?
2. How many other people do it the way you do it?
3. How easily do people confuse you with someone else?
4. How easily do people confuse your company with another one?
5. If someone tried to steal your shtick, how easy would it be for that person to pull it off?
6. If someone starting using your material, how long would it take before their customers or audience members or readers would say, “Dude, wait, that’s not YOUR story…!”

The more imitatable you are, the less valuable you are.

Be un-competable.
Be un-confusable.
Be un-disputable.
Be un-stealable.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How imitatable are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “18 Marketing Questions to Uncover Uncontested Waters,” send an email to me and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

27 Things to Do FIRST

1. First, ante up.
Because you’ve got to pay yer dues.

2. First, choose roles.
Because you need a foundation.

3. First, think about the fourth sale.
Because it’s not really a sale – it’s a process. It’s a relationship.

4. First, convey personality.
Because that’s what people buy.

5. First, deliver value.
Because if you don’t, you’re nothing.

6. First, get paid.
Because nothing happens until a sale is made.

7. First, pay yourself.
Because you deserve it.

8. First, create SOMETHING.
Because it sets the stage for the rest of your day.

9. First, start writing.
Because writing is the basis of all wealth.

10. First, make a list.
Because if you don’t write it down, it never happened.

11. First, ask Google.
Because if it doesn’t exist on Google, it doesn’t exist.

12. First, discover your WHAT.
Because if you get stopped by not knowing HOW, you’ll never make any progress.

13. First, think design.
Because the medium is the message, and design is EVERYTHING.

14. First, conquer yourself.
Because that’s the toughest battle of all.

15. First, love yourself.
Because nobody else will if you don’t.

16. First, lead yourself.
Because you can’t rightly lead others until you’ve led yourself.

17. First, manage yourself.
Because you can’t rightly manage others until you’ve managed yourself.

18. First, market yourself.
Because if you don’t make a name for yourself; someone will make one FOR you.

19. First, sell yourself.
Because it’s the most important sale in the world.

20. First, develop friendships.
Because people want to do business with their friends.

21. First, do it for free.
Because the more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be.

22. First, put people.
Because people buy from people, people trust people, and people are loyal to people.

23. First, focus on THEIR agenda.
Because your agenda will only block listening.

24. First, your heart will see it.
Because your other senses are too slow.

25. First, focus on your health.
Because without it, nothing else matters.

26. First, focus on your family.
Because they’re only the people who will still love you, even when you act like a complete putz. (Trust me, I would know!)

27. First, focus on character.
Because in the end, that’s all that really matters.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do you always do first?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a list called, “8 Ways to Move Quickly on New Opportunities,” send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll hook you up!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.nametagTV.com

Coaching, schmoaching.

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Rent Scott’s Brain today!


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