Couple of cautionary tales for your Friday reading:
1. What does your caller ID say about you?
Bet you don't really think about that, but I had two experiences this week that show why you should. First, I was expecting a call from a vendor -- one that I actually wanted to take -- and just as it was to come in, TOLL FREE NUMBER showed up on my phone. So I picked up and hung up to free the line. A few seconds later, same thing. The third time, I picked up to give the tele-marketer what-for. Turns out, it was the vendor! Can't say it made me look more favorably on the product she was trying to sell. Why would anyone want to look like a robo-call or tele-marketer? I can't see how that will help you reach people you need to get on the phone. Less offensive, but just as risky is UNKNOWN or PRIVATE CALLER. Lots of us screen, and if I'm not expecting your call (and sometimes, as above, when I am), I'm not going to pick up a UNKNOWN/PRIVATE CALLER call. A quick survey of colleagues shows they probably won't either. Make sure your outbound caller ID is saying what you want it to. And if it's not, contact your service provider.
2. What's your email info saying about you?
Nothing if nothing is what you use. I'm still surprised how many people send emails without subject lines. It's bad enough when you're someone I know, but at least I'll recognize your name while I'm scanning and (probably) stop to read your message. But if I don't know you well enough to remember your name AND I get no subject to spur me to read, you're out of luck and into my spam folder in a jiff. I appreciate a compelling, witty subject line as much as the next gal, but I'd rather see "PITCH: Cinematographers screening at Sundance" than nothing. Just take the extra 5 seconds to write something in the subject line, OK?
Another email problem is insufficient FROM information. "Tom" isn't going to differentiate you from the other Toms I know, nor is it particularly professional. If your FROM is your company name, that's a bit better, but only if I know your company and want to hear from you. It also makes your email look more like a direct marketing appeal rather than a personal email. Sure, I might not recognize your full name, but I'm more likely to open an email with a decent subject line and a FROM address.
These small but important things are both easy to fix and can make your communication with customers, prospects and others more effective. So if any of these scenarios is true for you, add a fix to your to-do list for Monday.