A new client hired me to conduct a series of sales writing webinars for her sales associates. The day before our first webinar, one of the participants emailed:

“Sue, I have a tentative hold for a webinar with you this Wednesday, Date/Time. Please confirm the webinar with me by close of business today.”

What was it about the message that pissed me off?

Was it the sense of demand shown “by close of business today,” or that she knew about this webinar for weeks and shouldn’t have to ask?

Or was it just me? Was I misreading this busy person’s intent?

You know what? It doesn’t matter.

The fact that words can be so easily misinterpreted is what matters.

From landmark research in 2005, corroborated in 2017, we simply do not communicate as well as we think we do.

We dramatically overestimate how often our readers correctly identify the tone of our message.

What seems clear to us, as we hear the words in our head as we write them, is clear as muck when readers read. In fact, the 2017 research conducted in the US, Canada and Israel found we think readers get it right 80% of the time when really is was about 52% that they understand our intent (just a throw of the dice really).

That overconfidence in thinking comes from our ego. (Surprise, surprise!) It’s just too hard to detach ourselves from our own perspective.

The answer?

When reading, give them the benefit of the doubt.
When writing, infuse positivity and care.

It’s hardly ever about what you say, but how you say it. (You knew that!)

BONUS:

How should that email have been written?

Hi Sue, I’m looking forward to our webinar, Date/Time. Can you please confirm I have the date and time right? Your help is appreciated.

Or:

Hi Sue, Thanks for helping us boost our email skills. I’m holding Date/Time for our webinar. When you have a minute, would you confirm if this is correct? Thank you!

Or:

Hi Sue, Everyone is excited about the upcoming sales writing webinar. Do I have the Date/Time right because I don’t want to miss it. Thanks!

To get best results, positivity is key.

For information on a customized email sales writing workshop for your group, please email Sue@SpeakerSue.com or complete our quick Interest form to check Sue’s availability. Count on boosting productivity, professionalism and profits!

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