How not to ruin your business reputation: Part 1

You open an email and form an opinion of the writer. Bam! It takes what… maybe a nanosecond. Whether it’s a co-worker, colleague in another division or a vendor prospecting for your business, all of us make immediate judgment calls about people – about their credibility and the value of the emessage – by the tone of the email and the way it’s written.

Email, when used right, builds relationships and expands networks. When used thoughtlessly, it can pretty much ruin a business reputation. A poorly written email doesn’t just get deleted, it can diminish productivity, destroy sales and decimate morale.

Think of it this way: Do you really want to look your worst in front of the people who matter? Even if they love you enough to overlook your lack of attention to detail (like a Sunday morning at my house), or  your less-than-friendly tone, what if they forward your message to someone who doesn’t feel the love? If you aren’t going to care enough to pay attention to the details, someone else will.

Will you actually ruin your business rep if you send an email with typos? Maybe. A Nov 2009 survey of HR managers, found 57% of HR managers consider simple typos or grammatical errors “deal breakers” when hiring. Another 41% of those responding to that Society of Human Resource Managers study said typos were seen as “somewhat of a problem.” People think less of you when you don’t care if you’re sending your very worst.

Take extra effort to create a positive impression every time you write. Consider you’re applying for a job with each email. Just because you have a relationship (co-worker, boss, customer) doesn’t mean it’s okay to ignore details like grammar and spelling. (And, really, is there anything more annoying than the colleague who bolds every message, responds in all caps, or emails back “no” to your request?)

Thoughtlessly written email costs plenty. Improve your business reputation and write right!

What bothers you the most about emails you get from colleagues, co-workers and management? Tell me!