Wanting to have a successful business is something we each hope to achieve and most of us do all the things we believe will get us there. But, all too often we forget that having a product or service to sell is not nearly as important as the way we sell it. In essence, it’s really more about how we sell our services.

How You Communicate!
As a smart professional, you've done your homework, found the perfect product to promote, built a web site, hired a writer and paid for search engine submission. Now you're ready to reap the benefits of the Internet. But wait, there’s another thing to consider, which should be added to your list of things to do.

Don’t Misuse Your Communication!
One of the primary ways we sell ourselves is through our communication. With an online business, we mostly communicate via e-mail, which means at the mere click of a button, we are able to transmit a message to someone anywhere in the world. Yet, for some odd reason, many people misuse this medium. I don't know where or how people got the idea that e-mail was meant to be cryptic, curt and blunt, but when sending an e-mail message, especially when it's business related, whether it's to inquire or respond, a message should be written with professionalism and courtesy.

Our Approach and Our Attitude
While the World Wide Web has given us an opportunity to conduct business with people everywhere around the globe, how we relate to our clients is crucial to the success of a business. Our response time, our approach and our attitude, particularly via e-mail, makes a huge difference when it comes to how people respond to our services and products. As an example, recently someone wrote to thank me for my quick response to his message. He was actually shocked that I had responded within a relatively brief span of time, something he said rarely happens. It was even more surprising to him because he wasn't a paying customer. He simply wanted to ask me a question about his site. Because of my attitude, he eventually used my writing services.

Use Courtesy and Respect
Perhaps it’s because I earn my living as a writer and use the power of words every day, or simply because I believe that the best way to do business is to treat people with courtesy, for me, there is no other way than to respond promptly and with professionalism. Personally, I find it a complete turn off when someone takes days to respond to my inquiry or sends me a curt message without even including my name in the salutation. To my way of thinking, that spells lack of interest. And just because you don’t know someone, it doesn’t give you license to be rude. The tool we have within our grasp is phenomenal, which means it should be used with courtesy and respect.

My rule of thumb for e-mail communication:

Write your e-mail message as if you were actually speaking to a person because that's exactly what you’re doing.

Brevity is of course important but curt and choppy lacks class.

Use salutations: It's insulting not to address the person by name. If you don't know the name of the person write "Dear Ladies and Gentlemen" or "Dear Sir and Madam."

Despite how busy you are, take the time to present yourself professionally by responding promptly to anyone who expresses an interest in your business or be prepared to lose the potential client.

If you simply can't get to a project immediately, at least have the courtesy to let the person know you are in receipt of their e-mail and are interested in their project. Responding several days after receiving a message does not give the impression that you are very busy and in demand; it works in reverse and makes the other party think you are not interested.

In closing, proper etiquette is a code of behavior that never goes out of style regardless of the medium you are using. You can have the most professional sales pitch or an incredibly breathtaking web site, but if you aren't sending professional e-mail communication, you're missing a key ingredient to a successful online business. Remember, above anything else, you are always selling and representing yourself. People generally do business with people they feel comfortable with, so if a potential customer likes your approach, your chances are far greater that you'll get their business.

Author's Bio: 

Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist/Consultant to her creative efforts as a freelance business writer. She has successfully helped thousands of companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstanding web site content, proposals, press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plans and all other forms of marketing, business and personal material. You may visit Charlene Rashkow at www.allyourwritingneeds.com or email her at info@allyourwritingneeds.com. You may also contact her directly at (310)514.4844