Productivity

professional email

7 Tips for Writing a Professional Email That Will Win You Clients

Learn How to Write a Professional E-Mail

Many of us write emails informally and we rarely think deeply about what we are writing.

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.

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. Keep Your Emails Short

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.

Make sure your emails have a purpose, a clear goal, and a focus. This will help you keep your emails short.

2. 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. Show your prospect you listen and want to make their day simpler.

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.

Closing an email with something like “have a great weekend” lets 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 to Follow-Up After an Appointment

As a business professional, you fully understand the importance of an appointment follow-up.

It can be an email, a telephone call, or even a more formal business proposal. You want to ensure that you turn as many of your leads as possible into long-term customers.

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

6 Tips to Increase Productivity In Your Business

Did you know that the average worker only spends about three hours a day actually working?

During the rest of their eight-hour workday, the average employee is “busy” checking the news, scrolling through social media, and even looking for a better job!

Could your office use a productivity boost?

If so, start by making sure you’re leading by example. Give these six tips a try today, and encourage your employees to do the same to increase productivity and make work a more engaging experience for everyone.

Six Tips to Increase Productivity

These six simple tips will help you increase productivity, stay focused during the workday, and get more done in a shorter amount of 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.

By taking time to plan out your day before you start working, you’ll have an idea of what your day holds and you’ll be able to figure out the best way to manage your time.

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

2. Schedule Regular Breaks

It might seem counterintuitive at first. But, scheduling regular breaks is a great way to help you stay focused. 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.

Research shows that spending time away from the computer screen, either walking outside or having a chat with a coworker, will do more for your productivity than looking at your friend’s latest plate of avocado toast.

How often should you take breaks? It varies for everyone, but a good starting place for a lot of people is to step away for 10-15 minutes for every 90 minutes of work.

3. Mute Alerts

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be 100 percent available 24 hours a day. While you’re working, you don’t need to be fielding texts from your friends or checking social media notifications.

Put your phone in Airplane or Do Not Disturb mode while you’re working. To further remove temptation, put it in a desk drawer so it’s out of site.

It’s also helpful to mute email notifications on your computer. Emails can be just as bad for productivity as texts and other notifications.

Set aside a chunk of time to read emails, and then keep that tab closed for the rest of the day so that you can focus on more important tasks.

4. Limit Caffeine Consumption

Overdoing it on coffee won’t actually make you more productive, and Red Bull definitely won’t give you wings.

Caffeine may initially give you a burst of energy and make you feel like you can get more done. But, the crash from overconsuming caffeine definitely isn’t worth it.

Drinking coffee later in the afternoon can also interfere with your sleep, meaning you’re more likely to feel lethargic at work tomorrow. You can see how the vicious cycle starts, right?

If you feel yourself starting to get a little sluggish in the afternoon, try going for a walk or doing some quick desk stretches instead of reaching for another cup of joe.

5. Stop Multi-Tasking

Multi-tasking won’t actually help you get more done during the day. In fact, if you’re constantly jumping from task to task, it will take you longer to accomplish the items on your to-do list.

When you’re always half-distracted by another project, you’re unable to fully commit to the one in front of you. Since you’re not firing on all cylinders, it’ll usually take more time for you to wrap things up than it would if you’d just stuck to one thing at a time.

Avoid having tons of tabs open on your computer. And, if you’re working on a really important project or have a looming deadline, shut your office door and mute your desk phone so that none of your coworkers will accidentally pull you out of your flow with a question about the kind of dressing you want on your salad.

6. Abide by the Two-Minute Rule

This one is essential for habitual procrastinators who want to finally increase productivity for good.

The two-minute rule states that, if a task can be done in two minutes or less, you should do it immediately.

Tons of entrepreneurs swear by the two-minute rule, saying that it keeps them productive throughout their workday by clearing clutter in their brains and on the desks.

It makes sense when you stop and think about it. When you eliminate all the nagging, two-minute tasks as soon as they come up, you won’t be thinking about them while you’re working on bigger and more important projects.

Need a Better Way to Schedule Meetings?

After you and your employees increase productivity in the office, you’re probably going to experience an uptick in the number of client meetings you’re scheduling.

We can help you plan for this boom in business now with our top-notch meeting scheduling software.

Our software makes it easier for you to manage your schedule and maximize your office time so that everyone is as productive as possible during the day.

Contact us at Schedule Like a Boss today to set up a demo and see what we’re all about. And, while you’re at it, check out this article on proper business etiquette to make sure you’re wowing your clients!

last minute meeting

How To Have A Productive Last Minute Meeting

Have you ever fallen asleep during a work meeting?

Well, it’s not necessarily your fault. On average, people attend roughly 62 work meetings every month, and half of those meetings do nothing but waste time. That means you spend 31 hours every month wasting time in useless meetings.

A lot of people don’t actually know how to run a productive meeting. Gathering random employees together for 30 to 45 minutes isn’t going to make a big difference for your business.

And this happens to meetings that are planned and scheduled in advance.

So what happens if you have to hold a last minute meeting?

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

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 too. 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.

So if someone can’t get there on time, make it clear that they won’t be allowed into the meeting. Having someone walk in late and take a few minutes to get settled can be very distracting. 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. 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!