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e-Mail Communication

Manners are personality -- the outward manifestation of a company or one's innate character and attitude. It can make or break business transactions.

Communication by e-mail is no different than writing on your company letterhead. A business communication is business, period. A certain degree of formality is required.

The allure of e-mail lies in its speed as well as being cheaper than postal mail or fax. E-mail, although lacking "real" physical stationery do present an outward manifestation of the sender innate character and attitude. There should be no reason for the recipient to find the sender lacking in manners and good taste.

Due to it's ease of use, e-mail often takes the form of a few short notes or paragraphs and is being abused, when the sender find that they can send any kind of messages to anyone with a hastily and badly written e-message.

Most people know how to send e-mail but they don't know how to use it and the advantages of using e-mail can be quickly outweigh by liabilities for the careless. Simple mistakes can easily offend the recipient and sour a new business relationship.

The 4 P's of business protocol
1. Polite   2. Prompt   3. Precise   4. Persist

1. Polite

What is involved in writing polite e-mail messages? The recommended style is formal as in any written communication, that is, until both parties get to know each other better.

 
 
 
 
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The choice of words should avoid expressions that may mean very little or something quite different to the recipient, like: drop in anytime or acronyms like: IMHO  FWIW  BTW  PLS or KIV

 
Example:
Dr. Yoshida (CEO)
International Trade Co. Ltd.
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.
Tel: 63582274  Fax: 63582275
Email: xyz123@myexmail.com
URL: www.xyz123myexmail.com
 
The writer should be careful to use titles, first-name or use the title as shown in the recipient previous e-mail and in the same manner of protocol, like: Sir, Dear Sir, Dr. Mr. President, Madam, Sincerely, Faithfully, etc.

If misunderstanding arises, tact and patience usually achieve more than anger or sarcasm. A harsh word spoken is easily forgotten or diminished in impact after a while, whereas written criticism lingers-on indefinitely.


2. Prompt
A common fault is failing to respond promptly. If someone inquire about the availability of a product or information that is not within the scope of the recipient, it should not be just "filed" away, every message deserves the curtsey of a response even if it is brief -- with the exception of *junk* mail.
Failure to respond is understandable because e-mail is being abused. Many sender find that they can e-mail any kind of messages to anyone that is hastily written, un-intentionally or otherwise -- lacking in proper business protocol, manners, in-precise, ambiguous with scant sender identification as well as "why" is he/she using a public e-mail addresses.

3. Precise
E-mail messages should be as precise as possible, this means being as exact and as complete as possible. The recipient, should not have to guess what the sender really meant, see below:
a real life *true* case study of an ambiguous e-mail message

 
 

 

 

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Potential buyer:
Yes, the company I represent is a Scottish based agent for industrial textiles Glencoul Fabrics represent by Fabrene Inc and Juta a.s for Temaforg & Novitas s.a.

Seller:
Which company are you representing? Temaforg & Novitas or a Scottish based agent or Glencoul Fabrics or Fabrene Inc or your own company Juta a.s.?

----------

Potential buyer:
Only during the past few years, it has successfully established a reputation in the UK market as a supplier of foreign textile in certain market segments.

Seller:
Who or which company has successfully established a reputation?

------------

Potential buyer:
At present, the company that Glencoul Fabrics represent are: Fabrene Inc;  Juta a.s; Temaforg & Novitas s.a.

Seller:
Which part of UK are you based in? (not the company) and in what capacity is your representation of the company? (authority, decision making).

----------

Seller:
> Here are some info for you:
> 1. Most Malaysian textile company are owner operated
> 2. They are mostly non-computer literate
> 3. They are all keen to do business but not with you or your company because of the way your present your business communication protocol.

>No one will bother to answer your enquires, unless:
>A. You include your company profile correctly (not in a jigsaw puzzle way)

>B. You must write-in/fax with the proper correct business protocol

>C. You must state very clearly:
you and your company current position, i.e. an import or export merchant, a commission agent, a part-time agent, CEO, manager, purchasing director, MD, Chairperson, etc.

>D. (Optional) You must state very clearly:
Your Objectives, Purpose, About your company, etc. to reflect and back-up your claim of intended business (making it worth the seller *
Time* to respond to your enquiry).

 

It is not that Companies (world wide) does not want to sell. It is simply that *NO* companies wants to waste *time* with enquirers (seems to be a small time agency) that don't know their *job* and causing *Time* consuming and unproductive related cost for the seller trying to educate the enquirer (using a public email address).

Sellers have no time to ask all sorts of qualifying questions. Sellers have many other highly potential buyers that needs their attention and sellers have to prioritize their limited *time* resources.

You will continuously face *no respond* from many companies with your hastily written e-message and any company that respond, must be so desperate for business (like a drowning person grabbing a straw).

Therefore, many sellers judge your business potential -- not by the amount you say you intend to buy, but by the way your written business communication protocol that reflect and support your buying potential.

Example:
Just walk in-to any up-town car showroom, in shorts and slippers, the sales personal won't be taking you very seriously as a potential buyer, isn't it?

Of course there are cases when the sales person continues to serve the potential customer and made a sale for a *Porch* or *Rolls* (happy endings that we usually get to see in the movies).

Unfortunately, in email business communications judgment cannot be made at all, the seller can't even visualize the potential of the buyer *except* on the style of writing that will make it worth the seller *Time* to respond to your enquiry.

Therefore, email communication need even more efforts and *time* because the recipient can't judge whether you are wearing shorts and slippers -- they simply assumed it.

If you are consistently getting no respond to your e-business email enquire, the reason could simply be due to improper
e-business e-protocol, e-mail e-communication e-netiquettes.

In today's world of E-everything... The line between success and failure is *I have no time*

4. Persist

Most of the time, any form of communication, can go astray or were delivered late -- electronic mail or other wise.

Many users have no idea how e-mail function on the Internet and usually gives a disbelieving look, when the intended recipient said that they didn't receive or the email was delivered several days late.

Therefore, before jumping to conclusion, consider the possibility of *lost or late e-mail*.

Next Page 2/4
Recipient willing to respond to your e-mail usually evaluate, the quality of the sender communication skills, attitude and manners.

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