Sales professionals communicate a lot through email, whether it’s replying to RFPs (requests for proposals) following up with customers, or cold emails. With so much of today’s sales process happening through email, it’s important that sales professionals build relationships with prospects by learning how to write well. That’s why I’m eager to share with you some great tips on business writing rules from my good friend and international bestselling author, Shirley Taylor.
By the way, Shirley has just launched a fantastic virtual training program ‘Business Writing that Works’. You can preview it here, and use coupon code SOHOST10 to get a $30 discount.
Business Writing Rules at Work
We are all writing more than ever now. We depend on our business writing skills to influence, persuade, encourage, collaborate, and to lead. However, most people don’t really notice the quality of the writing they read – they simply react positively, negatively, or not at all.
If you have ever wondered if there’s a better way to write your messages so they get better results, there is! Here are three of the new rules for effective written communication:
1. If you can say it, you can write it
We connect with the world today largely through e-mail, web sites, blogs, texting, and social media. With all these channels we have only bare facts, without tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, or pauses. It makes sense to use business writing that’s as close as possible to spoken language.
Writing conversationally will give you a great advantage – you put your personality and individuality into your message. This will help you to stand out and make a greater connection with your reader.
2. Write for today, not yesterday
Yesterday’s business writing was passive, wordy, and really dull. It created a distance between the writer and the reader. Today’s writing is more conversational. It’s crisp, clear, transparent, and the personal context makes it more positive and interesting.
Yesterday: Please be advised that a meeting of the Annual Convention Committee will be held on 24 February (Thursday) at 9.30 am. You are required to attend to report on progress made since the last meeting. Kindly advise your availability.
Today: I’d like to hold another meeting of the Annual Convention Committee on Tuesday 24 February at 9.30 am. I hope you can attend to report on the great ideas you mentioned at the last meeting. Please confirm if you can join us.
3. Aim to build relationships with good writing
People will judge you based on what you write and how you write it. In today’s fast-paced, technology-crazy world, it’s essential to come across as a human being.
If you insist on using old fashioned or redundant jargon (Please be reminded, Kindly be advised, Please find attached herewith, above-mentioned, etc) you will obscure the real meaning and will not be adding any personality.
Make your writing positive, stimulating and interesting, add some feeling and a personal touch. Help your readers get to know the real person behind the message.
Poor business writing damages reputations: Poorly written messages reflect badly on you and your organisation. Poor writing will not clarify your organisation’s products, services, values, policies, beliefs. As a result, business efficiency will be lost, as will opportunities to connect and build relationships with clients, colleagues and stakeholders.
Good business writing makes a difference: Good writing is receiving increasing recognition as an essential business skill. It will give you a huge advantage today. Good writing can help you work more efficiently, build credibility, improve relationships, influence people, win more clients and achieve your goals.
Shirley’s Free Business Writing Checklist and 3-video Series
To help you, I’ve put together a checklist of reasons why your writing style may not be working as effectively as it could, and what you can do about it. This checklist also contains my top 10 strategies for improving the writing style throughout your organisation. Just click on this link and you’ll not only get my free checklist, but also a 3-video series on ‘Better Business Writing’.
Give yourself an edge in this very competitive world by getting to grips with effective writing now, before it’s too late!
More About Shirley Taylor
Shirley Taylor is widely-regarded as an expert and leading authority on business writing skills. She has written 12 successful books on communication and business writing. The seventh edition of her international bestselling book Model Business Letters, Emails and Other Business Documents has been translated into several languages and sold over half a million copies worldwide.
With over 30 years experience in teaching and training, Shirley is a high-energy, high-content speaker and trainer who educates, inspires, informs and motivates individuals to develop better relationships so they can achieve greater success.