Day 40. How to get someone to open your email

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 40.  May 4, 2011
Preface:  I considered skipping my own blog post since I had a guest blogger but somehow that seems to break the rules.

It’s Wednesday and I still haven’t received a response about an email I sent LAST week. 

This is why I have to do things myself—I quietly mutter to myself.  On the other hand—this is probably an opportunity to use a Dale Carnegie principle… grumble.

You see, I delegated a task (so hard to do) to an associate last week.  I asked him to follow up with a client about an urgent matter.  I could have done the task myself but I thought why not delegate for a change.

Before stepping on toes today I asked my associate if he had any updates from the client.  He said the client is impossible to reach.  So I delicately mentioned I’d try following up with the client directly. 

 I drafted the following email to the client:
Email Subject line:  Great news about the response to your product XYZ!Body of email:
Dear ABC Company,

We are so excited to report about the positive response to your revolutionary new product.  I’m sure you must also be pleased with the results of the marketing campaign.

We’ve had a few inquiries from prospects interested in your products but they are unable to get the information they need from your company’s website.  I’ve done some research on my own to try to give them the information they need—but not being an expert on your product or website—I’m afraid I’m not the best at assisting them.

I just wanted to make sure you were aware of these inquiries.  Please let me know if I carelessly missed this information on your website.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. 
The Smiling Daffodil

 As you would guess I got a response within the hour. 

The Dale Carnegie principle I used in this scenario is from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 8.  Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
Principle 26.  Let the other person save face.

Let the other person save face

Instead of writing a subject line like “Problem with your website” or “This is the 2nd email request I’ve sent”—I spoke in terms of the client’s interest.  My client is interested in gaining new prospects and making the sale.

Then in the body of the email I continued to speak in my client’s interests.  I politely suggested that product information might be missing from his website—but not being an expert I could be mistaken.  The client was quick to fix the mistake and respond within the hour.

Remember, it’s easy to jump down someone’s throat and tell them they have done something wrong.  But when was the last time you felt motivated to correct your own mistakes under those conditions.  Instead—season your words with respect for the other person.  Don’t tell them they’ve done something wrong or point out they have ignored your 10 million email requests.  Instead, speak in terms of their interests.  This will make them more receptive to your suggestions.  When you take this approach you let the other person save face and you are able to get the results you are seeking.