Watercooler

B2B emails, emoticons or no emoticons?

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B2B emails, emoticons or no emoticons?

aidemzo_adanac
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 Am I being too old and out of date?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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    1 Votes
    Tony Hopkinson

    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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    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    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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    1 Votes

    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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    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    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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    1 Votes

    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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    1 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    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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    0 Votes

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

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    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    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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    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    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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    0 Votes

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

    (just had to throw that smiley in there!)

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    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    but it turned out I was mistaken.

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    0 Votes

    is more and more becoming the incorrect use of homophones (words that sound alike). There/their/they're, two/too/to, etc.

    I was reading an article today and didn't even blink when the author "towed the line". But I closed the tab when he started "sewing discord".

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    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    as much as misheard. If the authors had only heard those expressions before and had never seen them in print, I think it's understandable. With our society moving away from agriculture, many people may not know what 'sowing' is anymore.

    But there's no excuse for there / their / they're or too / to / two.

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    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    People try to use words they hear others say, without understanding the meaning. It drives me insane! In an effort to sound educated and having a broad vocabulary, people end up looking dumber than they were before writing the wrong word down. THEN instead of THAN (my God they aren't even close in meaning and yet commonly confused, due to the less educated bastardizing English.

    "I could care less!" LOL, way to make your point, here's a cone hat, sit in the corner and wear it well.

    I think that people who don't KNOW how to spell, type, write (if people still write) or even SPEAK, should be sent back to grade school.

    If you don't know what SOWING is because you aren't a farmer, DON'T USE THE F'KING WORD TO BEGIN WITH !! Who are you out to impress with a word like SOWING anyway (ooh, what a linguist)?

    In fact, it should be part of a grade 12 student's final exam to use these specific phrases and words correctly.

    We have someone at work that uses the wrong words and sayings all the time and it drives me right up the wall. To top it off, she's a first point of contact for clients!

    I have a friend who mixes up 'their, there and they're' all the time, when he texts me. I always respond with correction, which he gets pissed at. If he had half a brain, he'd take note and thank me, a good friend, for saving him future embarrassment. I don't mind being corrected, in fact i appreciate it.

    It's like when your fly is down and nobody says anything. I'd rather someone quietly clued me in so I didn't walk around all day with the old tally whacker hanging out.

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    0 Votes

    There are people who simply can't communicate properly.

    Personally, I think those people should all shut up!

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    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    Have them do the most menial, low paying (if paid at all) work. Like collecting muck to build walls, splitting firewood, cleaning up horse manure etc. Maybe then people would focus a little more on learning their native language than playing beer pong and recording friends who are passed out in a puddle of puke..

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    0 Votes

    the news story about the guy who drowns in front of 80 people, all of whom are too busy recording his last moments to reach out and pull him in.

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    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    People film crimes and accidents and giggle about failures on YouTube, instead of helping the guy out. Such ignorance in modern society and nothing we can do about it.

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    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    I know it's what "everybody" says (including me!) but it doesn't really make sense to have a "favourite" annoyance. Bad grammar and the use of incorrect homophones make me want to reach out to the writer and choke him or her, too, but I can't say I enjoy the feeling other than for the hit of self-righteous smugness...

    Alliteration is no excuse for an oxymoron.

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    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    Maybe a regional thing? Haven't heard it used myself. I guess 'PET PEEVE' is about the same though.

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    0 Votes

    I don't have any annoyances I favor; I hate them all.

    I just keep this one on a leash and take it out for walks occasionally.

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    0 Votes
    AnsuGisalas

    that it depends on whether you're the boss of me, or the other way around.
    If you're giving me business, you can be the friggin pope, and I'll still be courteous and all that.
    If I am giving you business, I'd like it better if you keep it coolly courteous and all that. At first, at least.
    Then when you're my go-to man, social distance is no longer required.

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    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    My customers 'F-this' and 'F-that" all the time, I never take the bait though and just follow through with the same courtesy as always. Out of the office I have a mouth like a trucker with turrets syndrome, I curb it with clients though, despite their lead.

    One thing I used to do when interviewing people was sit all casual and say sh*t once or twice during an interview. If the applicant bit and started to slouch and mirror me with a few swear words, I wouldn't hire him.

    In sales, mirroring a customer is a must but only to an extent. Speaking one key and 1 decibel lower is good mirroring, reflecting a high energy client is good mirroring but once it becomes a matter of lowering your professional demeanor to swearing or bad body language, it should stop.

  • +
    1 Votes
    Tony Hopkinson

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    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'.

    +
    1 Votes

    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?

    +
    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    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.

    +
    1 Votes

    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.

    +
    1 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    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!

    +
    0 Votes

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

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    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.

    +
    0 Votes

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

    (just had to throw that smiley in there!)

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    but it turned out I was mistaken.

    +
    0 Votes

    is more and more becoming the incorrect use of homophones (words that sound alike). There/their/they're, two/too/to, etc.

    I was reading an article today and didn't even blink when the author "towed the line". But I closed the tab when he started "sewing discord".

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    as much as misheard. If the authors had only heard those expressions before and had never seen them in print, I think it's understandable. With our society moving away from agriculture, many people may not know what 'sowing' is anymore.

    But there's no excuse for there / their / they're or too / to / two.

    +
    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    People try to use words they hear others say, without understanding the meaning. It drives me insane! In an effort to sound educated and having a broad vocabulary, people end up looking dumber than they were before writing the wrong word down. THEN instead of THAN (my God they aren't even close in meaning and yet commonly confused, due to the less educated bastardizing English.

    "I could care less!" LOL, way to make your point, here's a cone hat, sit in the corner and wear it well.

    I think that people who don't KNOW how to spell, type, write (if people still write) or even SPEAK, should be sent back to grade school.

    If you don't know what SOWING is because you aren't a farmer, DON'T USE THE F'KING WORD TO BEGIN WITH !! Who are you out to impress with a word like SOWING anyway (ooh, what a linguist)?

    In fact, it should be part of a grade 12 student's final exam to use these specific phrases and words correctly.

    We have someone at work that uses the wrong words and sayings all the time and it drives me right up the wall. To top it off, she's a first point of contact for clients!

    I have a friend who mixes up 'their, there and they're' all the time, when he texts me. I always respond with correction, which he gets pissed at. If he had half a brain, he'd take note and thank me, a good friend, for saving him future embarrassment. I don't mind being corrected, in fact i appreciate it.

    It's like when your fly is down and nobody says anything. I'd rather someone quietly clued me in so I didn't walk around all day with the old tally whacker hanging out.

    +
    0 Votes

    There are people who simply can't communicate properly.

    Personally, I think those people should all shut up!

    +
    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    Have them do the most menial, low paying (if paid at all) work. Like collecting muck to build walls, splitting firewood, cleaning up horse manure etc. Maybe then people would focus a little more on learning their native language than playing beer pong and recording friends who are passed out in a puddle of puke..

    +
    0 Votes

    the news story about the guy who drowns in front of 80 people, all of whom are too busy recording his last moments to reach out and pull him in.

    +
    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    People film crimes and accidents and giggle about failures on YouTube, instead of helping the guy out. Such ignorance in modern society and nothing we can do about it.

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    I know it's what "everybody" says (including me!) but it doesn't really make sense to have a "favourite" annoyance. Bad grammar and the use of incorrect homophones make me want to reach out to the writer and choke him or her, too, but I can't say I enjoy the feeling other than for the hit of self-righteous smugness...

    Alliteration is no excuse for an oxymoron.

    +
    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    Maybe a regional thing? Haven't heard it used myself. I guess 'PET PEEVE' is about the same though.

    +
    0 Votes

    I don't have any annoyances I favor; I hate them all.

    I just keep this one on a leash and take it out for walks occasionally.

    +
    0 Votes
    AnsuGisalas

    that it depends on whether you're the boss of me, or the other way around.
    If you're giving me business, you can be the friggin pope, and I'll still be courteous and all that.
    If I am giving you business, I'd like it better if you keep it coolly courteous and all that. At first, at least.
    Then when you're my go-to man, social distance is no longer required.

    +
    0 Votes
    aidemzo_adanac

    My customers 'F-this' and 'F-that" all the time, I never take the bait though and just follow through with the same courtesy as always. Out of the office I have a mouth like a trucker with turrets syndrome, I curb it with clients though, despite their lead.

    One thing I used to do when interviewing people was sit all casual and say sh*t once or twice during an interview. If the applicant bit and started to slouch and mirror me with a few swear words, I wouldn't hire him.

    In sales, mirroring a customer is a must but only to an extent. Speaking one key and 1 decibel lower is good mirroring, reflecting a high energy client is good mirroring but once it becomes a matter of lowering your professional demeanor to swearing or bad body language, it should stop.