professional email

Writing a Professional Email: 7 writing tips to Win Clients

Many of us write emails informally and rarely think deeply about what we are writing. This article addresses how writing a professional email will win clients.

We type messages with a sandwich in our hand, confirm a meeting while ordering products and send emails while performing a variety of other tasks.

That’s fine when you’re emailing your family and friends, but it’s not a good idea when you’re doing business.

Whether you’re a C-level executive or own a small business, you need to create your email correspondence with care and ingenuity.

Writing a Professional Email

Keep your words professional, use proper business etiquette and don’t forget email signatures.

Remember, email communication helps you build rapport with your prospects and customers by communicating with them sometimes daily. Why not create a professional reputation that makes you stand out from your competitors?

Check out seven tips that will get the job done!

1. Know Your Client’s Communication Preferences

Does your client prefer to converse by email or by the old fashioned way–the telephone?

It’s easy to think in our world of digital that everyone likes email contact, but that’s not the case.

Some business professionals prefer speaking on the telephone, in person or by video conferences like Skype or Google Hangouts.

Prior to building a relationship via email, ask your client their communication preferences. Don’t send them an email because it’s quicker and more convenient for you. Be professional, show your prospect you listen and want to make their day simpler.

2. Keep Your Emails Short

When you are writing an email to a client, stay professional and keep it short, with a purpose, a clear goal, and a focus.

The typical professional receives over 100 emails per day. And it’s likely that your prospect is one of those professionals.

Writing long-winded emails, especially regularly can annoy your clients, be a turnoff and go right to the trash.

On the other hand, brief emails show you respect the receiver’s time and are more likely to be read.

3. Respond To Email Inquiries Within 24 Hours

It’s a good practice to answer your client’s questions within a day. Your customer shouldn’t have to guess if you’re going to return their email. Making a client wait too long will make them question your professionalism.

If you’ll be out of the office, make sure to create an autoresponder. Even better if you can refer your client to someone who will answer their question while you’re away.

Customers want to know they’re the top priority and that their business needs matter.

4. A Professional Email Should Have A Conversational Tone

Always be friendly when writing emails. The last thing a client wants to read is a stiff email. In contrast, you don’t want to be too informal and ramble on about your personal life.

Make the tone of your email personable and relaxed. Places you can practice this is in a friendly salutation and closing.

Close your professional email by writing “have a great weekend” to let your client know you’re personable.

5. Value Client Confidentiality

Customers working with you trust you will keep their private business information confidential. That’s why it’s important to avoid sharing your client’s email messages, email attachments, contact details and files without their consent.

This shows your clients you respect their confidentiality. Failing to respect this confidentiality is a sure way to lose your client’s trust.

6. Keep Your Correspondence Organized.

No client wants to scroll through lines of text and email threads wondering how and where they need to respond.

Keep your emails free of clutter, keep information clear and format text that communicates important points and actions that must be taken.

Here are some tips to keep your emails focused and clutter free.

Write a focused subject line

Your subject line should summarize your email. This way your client knows what to expect when reading your email. Things off topic should be sent in a separate email with a distinctive subject line.

Make sure to create a new subject line so your client can identify the email. Otherwise, they can get lost and lose your message.

A catchy subject line increases an open rate. Here’s how to write one.

Put the Important Information Up Front

Any essential information should be at the beginning of your email. Include the details organized for each section so the customer can take the appropriate action.

Also, address any questions related to the topic of each section. Never add the questions at the bottom of an email you have discussed earlier. Organizing your email in an orderly manner lets your clients know you respect their time.

You can format essential ideas by using formatting techniques such as bold and italic fonts and underlining text.

If your brain feels foggy and muddled from the stress of the day, step away, clear your mind and write your email with a clear head. If you’re confused, it’s likely your client will also be confused.

7. Review Your Email Before You Hit Send

Have you ever hit send and realized you forgot something in your email (like an attachment) or reread it and felt like you could have said it better?

I know I have.

That’s why it’s a good idea to proofread your professional email carefully before you hit send.

Along with the content of your email, check for spelling, grammar. Then make sure you include the right attachments to the message. Check the filename. Especially when working on multiple versions.

Send an email to yourself first. Then read it. Review it and you’ll know it’s good to go.

Final Thoughts on Writing A Professional Email

Incorporating these tips and strategies about business emails and etiquette can make a big difference in building client relationships and creating the trust that leads to sales and happy returning customers.

Want to learn some smart tips? Visit our website today to access the tools and strategies to build a smarter business.

appointment follow-up

How Top Business Professionals Follow-Up After an Appointment

As a business professional, you must fully understand the importance of follow-up after an appointment to turn your leads into long-term customers.

It can be an email, a telephone call, or even a more formal business proposal.

However, we know that it can be difficult to know what you should discuss and include when you follow up with a client after a meeting or phone call.

Unsure of what you should cover? This post will cover some of the specifics on what to do when contacting your potential clients.

Read on to find out.

Thank Them For Their Time

The perfect beginning to any appointment follow-up email?

The words, “thank you.”

Remember that about 80 percent of potential sales with new contacts will require as many as five follow-ups before a deal is closed.

By sending an appointment follow-up email or note that recognizes the time that your client took out of their day to meet with you? You can significantly lower that number.

This increases the rate of your business conversions.

A follow-up message is now an expected part of your overall level of customer service.

Yes, you spent lots of time preparing for the meeting. However, also make it clear that you understand that doesn’t guarantee a sale. Show that you’re still willing to work to earn their business. Do this by communicating that you understand how valuable their time is.

Review What You Discussed

Another crucial step in drafting the perfect appointment follow-up email or call script is to make sure that you provide your client with a brief review of the things that you discussed during your appointment.

This is essential not only because it helps both you and your client to keep your memories fresh. It also matters because it can help you to prove what you accomplished and spoke about in the event of a conflict later.

Remember to address once again how your products and services can help to make your client’s life easier and business more efficient. Talk about the potential solutions that you discussed.

Be sure to remind them about the overall timeline it would take to put them into effect.

Also, let them know that you’re in the process of creating a more formal sales proposal. Work on a plan that they can share with other members of their team to review and discuss.

Suggest A Time For Your Next Meeting

One of the most important parts of your appointment follow-up message or telephone call is asking when would be convenient for them to meet with you again. Of course, the last thing that you want to happen is suggesting a time to meet when you can’t really make it.

However, especially in today’s fast-paced world, it can be incredibly easy to get your wires crossed. Still, you’ll end up looking unprepared and unprofessional.

Consider investing in scheduling software that allows you to see your entire week at a glance. Easily identify gaps in your calendar. This way, you’re able to give the client lots of potential dates and times for your next meeting.

Not only will this software save you time. It will also help your clients to feel like they’re a major priority (they don’t need to know that they’re actually sandwiched in between two other meetings!)

Plus, suggesting another time to meet and continue your discussion is an incredibly effective — but still lower pressure — way to close a sale or a deal.

Consider Automated Follow-Ups

We know that, with everything you have to do in a day, it can be incredibly tough even to remember to send out follow-up messages at all.

However, not getting in touch with leads as soon as possible after meetings can cause you to lose a potential client.

Especially if you’re a high-volume business!

Then we suggest looking into a business software that can help you to schedule automated follow-ups. This software will send out automatic messages to the clients that you meet with on a regular basis.

This way, you can schedule your standard monthly meeting weeks in advance.

It will also send out templated follow-up emails, log your calls, and even help you to send calendar invitations to your clients when you’re trying to schedule the best meeting time.

Be Ready For Anything

In the world of business, things can happen quickly.

You might be surprised when, just a few minutes after you send an appointment follow-up email, a client asks if you can come to their office later the same afternoon.

When you’re on the lookout for quality business and scheduling software, also be sure that you select an option with route planning. Sometimes, that extra hour you spent in traffic can end up costing you some serious business.

Look for software that helps you to spend less time getting to and from meetings, and more time actually helping your clients to get their needs met.

Invest In Software That Simplifies The Appointment Follow-Up

We hope that this post has helped you to comprehend some of the most important information that you need to include when writing or calling in a client regarding an appointment-follow up.

Remember to thank them for their time, review what you discussed, and suggest a time you could meet again in the future.

Of course, automated follow-up software makes this entire process all the easier.

If you’re looking for reliable business software that can shorten your overall sales cycle, keep your customers happy, and save you serious time throughout the day?

We can help.

Spend some time on our website to learn even more about what our incredible software can do for you — and spend more time actually working at work.

increase productivity

Increase Productivity In Your Business with these 6 Tips

Did you know that the average worker spends about three hours a day actually working? The rest of their eight-hour workday is spent checking the news, scrolling through social media, and even looking for a better job! These 6 simple tips will increase productivity in your business and make work a more engaging experience for everyone

Six Tips to Increase Productivity

Could your office use a productivity boost? If so, start by making sure you’re leading by example and following these six simple tips to increase productivity, stay focused during the workday, and get more done in a less time.

1. Plan Ahead

When you first get to the office, it’s tempting to just dive right in and tackle the first task that pops into your head. This definitely isn’t a recipe for a productive day, though.

Start by taking a few minutes to write out a to-do list. Then, prioritize the items on that to-do list so you know which tasks need to be addressed first. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can also schedule blocks of time to tackle each item on your list.

Taking time to plan your day before you start working will give you an idea of what your day holds so you can figure out the best way to manage your time and increase productivity.

This will eliminate stress and cut down on time you waste wondering if you forgot something important.

2. Schedule Regular Breaks

It might seem counter-intuitive, but scheduling regular breaks is a great way to help you stay focused and increase productivity. After all, you can only stare at the computer screen for so long before you end up wandering over to Facebook or Twitter.

If you know when you have a break scheduled, you can resist the urge to hop on social media since you know you’ll eventually be able to do that.

That being said, a quick social media binge isn’t necessarily the best way to spend your break.

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last minute meeting

How To Run A Productive Last Minute Meeting

Have you ever fallen asleep during a work meeting? Well, it’s not necessarily your fault. A lot of business owners don’t know how to run a productive meeting, much less, a last minute meeting. Gathering random employees together for 30 to 45 minutes isn’t going to make a big difference for your business.

On average, people attend 62 work meetings each month, half of which are a waste of time. That means 31 hours a month of wasted time in useless meetings.

So what happens if you have to hold a last minute meeting? Even less productive.

Take a look at these tips to help you run productive meetings, even if you aren’t 100% prepared for them.

How To Run A Productive Meeting

1. Have a Good Reason

Make sure everyone at the meeting knows why they’re there and what they’re supposed to be doing.

In the best cases, this will involve sending out a meeting objective with any relevant resources pertaining to the meeting. You may also want to type up a meeting agenda that explains what topics you’ll tackle during the meeting.

If you have at least one of these two things, everyone who enters the meeting will know exactly why they’re there and what they’re going to discuss. It will keep the conversation on topic, and you’ll save time trying to explain why you’re all there at the beginning of the meeting.

If you don’t have time for that before a last minute meeting, at least write the objective on the whiteboard or explain the agenda before you get started.

2. Only Include People You Need

Don’t include people in a meeting just because they’re employees. Really take some time to think about who is needed in the meeting and who would just take up space.

This will keep your meeting small and personal and will allow you to stay on track.

If a meeting has nothing to do with certain employees, they will have nothing to offer. It will be a waste of time for them and for you. Remember, time is money, and they might spend that time better elsewhere.

3. Start on Time and End on Time

And keep the meetings short. There can be no exceptions to this rule.

People will fill any amount of time you give them, but they’ll start to lose focus after 30 or 45 minutes. If you can, make the meetings even shorter than that.

Put someone in charge of tracking the time. When the meeting time is almost up, have the person give you a signal or have them speak up and let everyone know much much time is left.

A short meeting will hold everyone’s attention, and you’ll make as much progress in a 25-minute meeting as you will in a 35-minute meeting. So long as your meeting is structured, you’ll get a lot done no matter how short it is.

You should also give yourself at least 10 minutes of buffer time at the end of each meeting. But this time should not give your meetings permission to drag on longer than they should.

Rather, this will give you time to prepare for the next meeting and leave space for any last minute meetings that need to be squeezed in somewhere.

4. No Electronics Allowed

When you let employees bring computers and phones into a meeting, you’re suddenly competing for their attention. Even if they are using their laptop to take notes, they’ll have a harder time remembering everything that was talked about in the meeting.

Make a no electronics rule and stick to it. The only reason anyone should be looking at their phone is if they are in charge of tracking time. Even then, if you have any other kind of clock, use it.

5. If You’re Late, You’re Out

This might sound harsh, but remember, the meeting has to start on time. You can’t wait around for late people to show up.

Make it clear that late comers won’t be allowed into the meeting. Having someone walk in late and take a few minutes to get settled can be very distracting and disrespectful. Catching them up on what they missed will also take the meeting off course.

Make sure everyone understands that they are responsible for getting to the meeting on time and remind them the meeting starts exactly when the agenda says it does.

6. Have a Plan When You Finish

By the end of the meeting, everyone should know the next steps and what they are responsible for doing themselves.

If people leave the meeting without a clear action plan and set deadlines, the meeting hasn’t done what it was supposed to do.

Have someone take notes throughout the meeting, and after the meeting, turn those notes into action items. Send them to everyone who attended the meeting and put someone in charge of keeping track of who does what by when.

This will help everyone understand the end of a meeting results in action, not in returning to whatever work they were doing before the meeting started.

7. Make Everyone Contribute

Sometimes meetings end up being a conversation between two or three people with a lot of other people watching them. There will always be people more vocal than others, but the reason for the meeting is to share ideas, so anyone in the meeting needs to add something.

As you’re leading the conversation, encourage everyone to share their ideas. This may mean asking people directly, “What are your thoughts on A, B, or C?” If a person has nothing to contribute, they shouldn’t be at the meeting.

A Last Minute Meeting Can Still be Productive

Just because a last minute meeting hasn’t been on the calendar doesn’t mean it has to be any less productive than any other meeting.  You can run a productive meeting just by knowing how to keep it controlled, on time, and on track, and your meeting will end with action and results.

Want to learn how you can get more done with less stress? Take a look at this article!

client meeting

Business Etiquette: 10 Tips for Your Next Client Meeting

Breaking the unwritten rules of career professionalism can make or break your reputation. Have no fear, we’ve compiled a list of 10 business etiquette tips to help you get the most out of your client meetings.

Perhaps you dread those meetings where you feel like you always have to be “on”. Or maybe you love the prospect of meeting new potential clients and enjoy showing your best self. Regardless of your feelings about first business dates, you have to conduct yourself in a way that will leave a lasting (good) impression. Seventy percent of people make a decision about you based off of your first impression.

So, what’s acceptable and what isn’t during an initial client meeting? Can you check your phone? Who should be asking all of the questions?

Business Etiquette Tips for Your Next Client Meeting

1. Get Dressed

Yes, your appearance matters. You don’t have to step into the room looking like Giselle or Brad Pitt, but you do need to look put together, regardless of your wardrobe budget. There are many places with budget-friendly prices for a fantastic professional wardrobe.

There’s no better way to master the art of business etiquette than rolling into your client meeting looking fresh, well-dressed, and sufficiently awake (caffeinated). Your outward professional appearance will speak volumes about you as a professional.

Believe it or not, your clothing will affect your success.

2. Be on Time for Your Client Meeting

Few things will make you look as unprofessional as showing up late will. It makes you look sloppy, unprepared and unorganized. Furthermore, it may make a client wonder about your time management skills.

Being on time for a client meeting (if not 10 minutes early) speaks volumes about your business etiquette. It shows how much you care about your work and your client and shows them they are your priority. It also shows them that you have a tight schedule, you are busy, and actively engaged.

3. Speak in Turn

Never, ever interrupt a client while they are speaking. That tells them that you are so deep in your thought process that you aren’t even hearing them. There will be a few instances in large conferences or in meetings where you might need to interrupt, but as a general rule let someone finish their thoughts.

You don’t want to be interrupted when it’s your time to speak either. A client meeting should be a polite conversation between two people expressing needs, services, wants, and goals.

4. No Phone

Albeit difficult, put your phone away during meetings. Browsing your phone while speaking to other people is rude and careless. It tells them your mind is elsewhere and that they aren’t the focus of your attention.

A client needs to feel like a V.I.P. if you want to get hired by them. The last thing you want to appear is too busy to listen to them, let alone take on their workload. Keep your phone on vibrate and in your pocket.

5. Coffee Break

If you want to drink something in your meeting, make sure it’s coffee. Everything else may seem a little unprofessional. Coffee is a staple of the business world.

Coffee in hand is a sign of a goer, a successful business person, and someone who needs the boost to get all of their many business ventures satisfied. Drinking can make noises and be a little off-putting in general, so take small sips once in a while.

6. Mama Says Sit Up

Simply sit up. Straighten your back, and have good posture during your client meeting. If you need to adjust your chair to get comfortable or to be at equal height with your client, do so.

Much like the proper business etiquette behind professional dress code, slouching will give an unkempt and sloppy appearance. Sitting up gives you poise, confidence, and a nice silhouette. Do as you learned when you were a kid, and sit nice and tall.

7. Speak Up

When it’s your time, speak with volume and confidence. People who speak in whisper tones are perceived as weak and incapable. Do not let your tone affect your professionalism.

If you have every other duck in a row professionally but can’t bring a little prowess to your speaking voice, you might have a problem. All you have to do is speak with a little volume and gumption.

When it’s your turn, be heard. You didn’t do all that studying and research in your field to lose a client over perceived notions about your lack of strength as a professional.

8. Mission Possible

A massive part of showing a client that you are ready and willing to work for them is by having a good strong agenda. You need to stay on track so you don’t get sidelined into caveats that don’t matter to the end goal.

If you do get off track, have a few tactics in your back pocket to use as a strong facilitator to get you back where you need to be in the conversation. The art of conversation is a complex one. Have a plan, have an agenda, and stick to it.

9. Be Brave

Although it may seem like the opposite of proper business etiquette, asking hard questions that no one else wants to ask will make your client feel confident that you are willing to do what it takes to get the information you need. Don’t wait until the end to ask them all at once, either.

Ask your questions in a polite and timely manner. Be brave, be bold, and be courteous. Ask your client the questions that are detail oriented that perhaps other people skim over.

10. Clean Up

Push in your chair at the end of your meeting. Grab your coffee cup. Throw away any napkins used. This is not only proper business etiquette, but it will speak volumes about you as a person and as a professional.

Simply cleaning up after yourself and leaving your setting the way you found it shows respect and responsibility.

Schedule It

The only way to get a schedule full of great meetings with clients is by making them happen. Be strong and tell your potential clients that you at least deserve a meeting with you before making their decision

Meetings are the way to success. You can’t get business without being able to showcase why you are the best option for the job. Follow these ten tips and you’ll be sure to impress your next client.

For more tips, tricks, and advice on how to get a packed schedule, contact us for a free demo.