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B2B emails, emoticons or no emoticons?

By aidemzo_adanac ·
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With a friendly FIRST phone call to a business, would it be okay in YOUR ORGANIZATION if you used an emoticon in the follow up email?

I had a sit down with a new rep last week and went over the day's activities. While doing so I noted that his opening emails, after the first phone call, should not use a smiley face. ie: I enjoyed speaking with you today. :)

The reply from this young guy was, "I use them all the time and haven't had any issues yet."

I said it just didn't come off as professional for some companies and it's hard to tell who that is until you have built up a bit of a relationship with them.

It seems that because nobody has come out and said, "Hey, I don't like smiley's in emails, when you don't even know me." that it must be acceptable.

Now, besides his emails being rife with spelling mistakes, which he also feels is not important, would YOUR COMPANY accept emoticons in first email contact with a new prospect? Am I being too old and out of date?
Does spelling actually matter? Things like the use of THEN instead of THAN etc?

How important is communication accuracy in business now that it's 2013 and we have so many illiterate people showing off their lack of skills with the various electronic messaging forms?

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Personally I'd say

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to B2B emails, emoticons or ...

that littering your communications with spelling mistakes and smilies is a presumption of informality.

You and I on here having a waffle, not a problem. Even given we've been conversing on here for years I wouldn't presume to do that if I was trying to hire you or sell my talents to you, that would be rude.

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That's okay

by aidemzo_adanac In reply to Personally I'd say

Your always rude, but that's why I like your comments. JK
You aren't rude at all, just "forthright", as am I. :)

Some politely say I am terse, others blatantly rude, others extremely offensive. My take is, 'suck it up and get on with it'.

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If you want my business

by NickNielsen In reply to B2B emails, emoticons or ...

You first have to establish a business relationship. To me, that means:
- no smileys or emoticons.
- no txt-speak
- spel-chek yur werk!

If you don't care enough about your correspondence to make sure it looks professional, how professional am I supposed to think you will be with my business?

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Thanks Nick

by aidemzo_adanac In reply to If you want my business

I made my point, I wonder if he'll come back tomorrow. LOL.
I don't work with the weak, I won't accept a thin skin in a B2B environment either.

It's not like we are driving a hard sales team, it's a very consultative approach but, when dealing with city halls, public works yards, school districts, health board etc., I expect reps to shine much brighter than competitors with their slack and casual practices.

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Being a trained Office Administrator

by PurpleSkys In reply to B2B emails, emoticons or ...

I wouldn't use text speak or emoticons in emails to business people. It just goes against my training.

I just recently started a position in Advertising Sales and spend a lot of time emailing businesses in my area; doing things like that is just a no no as far as I'm concerned. Even though my boss is an old high school friend and we have a fantastic rapport, when we are communicating professionally for work, neither one of us does it.

I think accurate communication in the business world is a must. There are still some older folks or have older type values when it comes to running their business.

So I'm with ya Oz, it just isn't professional.

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Thanks for the chime

by aidemzo_adanac In reply to B2B emails, emoticons or ...

I am SUPER UBER picky about professional correspondence! My God, am I ever picky! All those years of marketing, copy writing, learning the ins and outs of advertising, branding, do's and don'ts all the YEARS of being the young guy trying to play with big dogs and not sounding like a punk. Now I get emails from customers with "CU soon" or "NFK!" etc. It drives me nuts! I look at ads our company has paid our ridiculously useless marketing department to create and I cringe with the faux pas throughout. They can't even build a decent Power Point show. If I say something I get "nobody pays attention to that stuff" Well, I 'kin DO!

I create and have my own collateral materials printed, company stuff is rubbish. I do all my own graphic design and PP presentations, my own CDRom product disks etc.

Then I get some new dude with little "real" B2B experience, where you are driving c-levelk teams into budget adjustments and he swears that a smiley face and using the term "Great chat this morning" is professional? Not on my bloody watch it isn't.

It's okay, he didn't come back, I guess he knew he was in well over his head. Now I just have to train the boss how to hire, and then the techs how to deal with my clients and then shipping on how to schedule a pickup from a different courier, then....oh boy, I have to get some work done too!

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from where i sit here on the East Coast

by PurpleSkys In reply to Thanks for the chime

I'm sending you a mental "high five", I couldn't agree with your position more.

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I wouldn't appreciate it.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to B2B emails, emoticons or ...

or the misspellings either.

Let's look at why the emoticon was invented. It's there to clear up potential misunderstandings in e-mail, where tone of voice isn't transmitted. That's a good tool if you're swapping smart-*** remarks with Cousin Bertie. If you have to use one to clarify the intent of a business message, you need to rethink your original wording to eliminate the source of the confusion. If it's not adding anything to the message (and it adds nothing to "I enjoyed speaking with you today."), then it's presumes a level of familiarity that isn't there and may not be welcome.

If he shows up again, show him these remarks and let us know how he reacts.

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Thanks Palmie

by aidemzo_adanac In reply to I wouldn't appreciate it.

He won't be coming back, thank god. Emoticons for tone of voice, I personally HATE text or email for "communications". It's okay to share a quick note or text to say you are running 10 mins late or something, but people always want to make plans, ask complex questions etc. that will take 30 texts (including text explaining what you actually meant in the last text). It's not saving ANYONE time or effort at that point and simply becomes useless.

I was thinkign about it over the weekend:
If we had 'text only devices' 30 years ago and then they invented phones where you could talk LIVE and in REAL TIME, who the **** would bother texting anyone?!?

I think mankind/consumers are just blatantly stupid as a whole. Seriously, I don't know how many times i have had conversations with prospective clients or even friends where I think to myself, "has this guy even THOUGHT about what he's saying?" A world full of SPOCK's would be a major pain in the butt but SOME common sense and logic from people would be nice.

JUST THINK FOR ONCE, THAT'S ALL I ASK OR PEOPLE ! You can be wrong, and that's fine, everyone is wrong sometimes (I even thought I was wrong once, but I wasn't) . It's people that just mosey through life doing everything because someone else did it or saying things because someone else said it, that drive me right round the bend.

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I thought I was wrong once...

by NickNielsen In reply to Thanks Palmie

...but I was able to show it was bad data!

(just had to throw that smiley in there!)

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