So, how many emails do you get in a day?And how many from folks you don’t know (not spam) but need to respond to?
If you are leading a business or consultancy, that number is going to be high, and the number of new-contacts-to-known-colleagues will be disproportionately high, given our active networking, prospecting, and the high number of referrals to us from those events and from our clients and colleagues.
So, trying not to rant, this is a call out to everyone:add a signature that lets us know your mobile phone number and your location (like your city or time zone)!It is both polite and efficient.
In the past few days, I have had to search for or ask for the phone number or location of 5 new folks who have asked to meet with me.In one case I responded to an invitation to connect by suggesting a cafe in Santa Monica (Los Angeles), when the fellow was in San Francisco (but who knew?He didn’t indicate this in any way, just asked for a meeting, and he was referred to me by my local client).
I know we live in the word of texting and tweeting and following each other around in cyberspace.I like that too.But when I want to set a meeting or close a deal, I need to know what time zone I’m working with, and how to actually speak to the person if sudden change arises (more often when we are all so busy, and especially an issue when traveling across L.A.).
Now, in my good-manners way, I have several signatures set up for different applications, all in a simple drop-down menu.
- One is just my phone number under my name, for easy access.
- One has just my phone number and URL, for folks who are newly introduced.
- One has all my contact information – name, city, phone, Skype name, and live links to my website, blog, twitter, and Linked, for those who will need to know this, particularly international colleagues and clients.
- One adds my snail mail address and is only used when invoices are sent out.
The use of a signature also allows you to indicate how you prefer your communication – “texting preferred”and “mobile” vs. “office” and so on.
This simple courtesy will ease your communications with everyone, and perhaps increase the response rate you receive to your messages.Try it.