Posted by: Jane Dominguez, CPA | March 30, 2009

First Impressions


First Impressions 



Within the first three seconds of a new encounter, we are evaluated and judged. It is no different with our written communication. People form instant impressions about us based on our writing skills in an email, newsletter, article, report or employee evaluation. 


Internal and external customers, vendors, colleagues, even bosses’ immediately appraise our abilities and expertise from what we have written. They make snap decisions about the value of our company’s products and services merely on the image presented in our written communications. 


Email is often the first and primary contact with our customers, associates, and contacts. They open our email and immediately determine whether they want to work with us, engage our services, or buy our products. People judge the content and deem it accurate and useful, or of no value, simply based on how it is presented. 


Fragmented sentences, poor grammar, wrong word choices, and lack of format, immediately sink our message no matter how valuable or informative it is. Slipshod attention to even simple business correspondence tells the reader, in no uncertain terms, that they and their business are not important to us and forces them to question our capabilities. 


How do you make a good impression in an email? Let’s start with the correct format, we will address other components in future segments. The standard block business letter format is still the tried and true format. Using the correct format tells the reader you value your business association with them. If you are using electronic transmission for a formal letter, use the inside address for yourself and the receiver. Other email correspondence may omit this element, however, be sure your contact information is below your signature. 


Make sure your first impression announces to your readers that you are the best person to do business with. Let your knowledge, competence, and value shine through with the right format.   


Here is a sample of the block format to use as a guide: 




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