This week I am sharing a portion of an article written by Jacqueline Whitmore, an international etiquette and image expert, author, spokesperson and the founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. I found this information to be extremely useful and a good reminder because while most people are happy to offer advice and assistance to others, the approach can make all the difference.
How To Ask For Favors, Properly
by Jacqueline Whitmore
When I am not writing or teaching, I spend a majority of my workday managing email. … Occasionally, I get an email from someone who wants some free advice. … When I have the time, I will try my best to respond to each and every email. … When composing an email, particularly to someone you don’t know well, please heed the following advice.
Greet me. An email that doesn’t contain my name gives me a clue that you might have sent this question to a multitude of experts. Dale Carnegie tells us that the sweetest sound to a person’s ear is the sound of their own name. Well, I like to see my name in print too. It shows that you have taken the time to personalize your message.
Enlighten me. In general, I will assume that I don’t know you unless you tell me how we met or know one other. Did we meet at a luncheon or a seminar? Did someone refer you to me? I meet and speak with a lot of people, as I’m sure you do too, so please refresh my memory.
Flatter me. Sometimes I will get an email that requires me to stop what I’m doing and make an effort to do a little research in order to answer the question. I am more apt to help you if you have done something to help me. Do you subscribe to my blog or e-newsletter? Have you attended one of my classes? Have read you read my book, Business Class, purchased one of my products or referred me to someone you know? If you do something nice for me, I am eager to reciprocate the favor.
Be specific. Not all emails are clear, concise and contain all the facts. Therefore, if your email does not contain pertinent information, I can’t give you my best answer. Make sure you give as many facts as possible without making the email too long.
Give me a deadline. If you need an answer right away, let me know. Otherwise, I will assume that your email is not time sensitive.
Thank me. Your email may require research and time on my part. If I take the time to respond, please send me an email in return that expresses your thanks for my efforts. Better yet, let me know how the situation turned out if you did take my advice. This way I will know that my efforts were worthwhile and that gives me great satisfaction.
Jacqueline offers a variety of valuable tips at her blog,
http://jacquelinewhitmore.com and her website, www.etiquetteexpert.com.
Professionalism and a courteous approach will take you a long way when it comes to interacting with others, especially if you are asking for someone’s assistance. How you frame your request — and your follow-up — says a lot about you.
Is it the impression you want to convey?
Please feel free to send me any of your
etiquette or customer service questions or stories!
Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness
may now be viewed at my website,
Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist
Speaker & Seminar Leader
“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,
not changing who you are.”