I did something terrible this week. I wrote an email to a friend and you know what? It wasn’t very smiley or lovely. In fact, it was downright horrible. Apologies if that shocks you. I know I’m usually your little ray of sunshine around here. Don’t worry, my smile is back in place and I’ve even learned a lesson from it all that I’m sure will also serve you and your business well.
In my defence, I wrote this email at the end of a very long day. But unfortunately it was shot off very quickly with little thought for the consequences. And that is where the 19th century love letter comes in.
I don’t know how well versed you are in Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice? Emma? Think well spoken, middle class English ladies and gentlemen in posh frocks and fancy side partings) but the average lady in an Austen novel would spend a huge proportion of her time writing letters.
Not every epistle was intended for the love of her life but each was crafted with care, words chosen carefully. Why? A letter was permanent and treasured. Unlike the average email which is delivered sometimes in seconds, a letter would have taken days to arrive.
Imagine if Miss Bennett had written a letter in the style of your average e-mail. “Hi Darcy, thanks for your letter. I can’t tell you if I can make it for dinner next Wednesday, my mum’s nipped out to the shops. Love Jane.”
Having waited days for a reply, I can’t imagine Mr Darcey would have been terribly impressed with a letter like that can you?
But what about your customers and clients? Or the readers of your blog? How often do you shoot off a quick reply in-between other busy tasks? Do you always write with the utmost care and thought or, like me, are you sometimes guilty of hitting send with little thought for the consequences?
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie
What would happen if, every time you wrote an email, you gave it as much care and thought as our 19th Century letter writers?
Start putting your customers needs ahead of your own wants and desires. Think about how you can make their day just that little bit brighter and you know what? They’ll be clamouring at your door, begging you to take their money and work with them.
Don’t believe me? Give it a try and let me know how much they love you.
Oh and in case you were worried, my friendship is safe. Thankfully I have very forgiving friends who care enough to go the extra mile for me. But can we honestly expect our customers to do the same? I’m not going to risk that. It’s time to start wooing instead of wounding. What do you think?