10 Dec Stop Using This Language In Your Emails
Words matter. More often than not, the words we use in regular email communication define whether people trust us, whether people will buy from us and whether we feel confident in our ability to serve them. For women in particular, working to overcome long-held beliefs and stereotypes about gender, will fall into language patterns. It’s time to cut out all the words and phrases that don’t support us and to stop using this language in your emails. Here are our tips for crafting more effective and efficient emails.
Stop with unnecessary apologies
Did you do something wrong? If the answer is no, you should not be apologizing. While your aim may be to be thoughtful and considerate, communications littered with apologies create uneven power dynamics and diminishes “I’m sorry” when it is truly warranted.
Remove: “Sorry to follow up but I was checking on your invoice”.
Instead: “I am emailing to check on your open invoice.”
Remove: “Sorry to bother you…”
Instead: If you are concerned about bothering someone, it’s better to not email. If you are not, then stop using this language in your emails.
Remove: “So sorry for the delay…”
Instead: “Thanks for your patience”
Stop using the word ‘but’
When you insert ‘but’ into a sentence, it dismisses everything you said right before that. (“I like that dress on you but it doesn’t fit right”). Use “and” or create 2 sentences instead. Remember, contrasting ideas can both be true at the same time.
Remove: “I love the idea but I don’t think it fits your vision.”
Instead: “This is a creative idea. I have some concerns about how this will fit with your vision without the end result feeling cluttered. What about it most appeals to you? Perhaps we can find a middle ground that will keep your vision intact and include the feeling this gives you.”
Remove: “I wish I could help but my calendar fully booked right now.”
Instead: “Right now, my calendar is fully booked. Would it work to start this next month?
Stop using passive or dismissive language
These are an attempt to soften seemingly direct language so people like you. Instead, they make you seem uncertain or meek when you’re aiming to instill confidence. If you don’t believe in your role as a trusted advisor, they won’t!
Remove: Shrinkers “just” “maybe” “almost” “I think”
“Just checking on your payment…”
“Maybe the best plan would be to…”
“I think so and so would be the best fit as your florist”
Instead: Replace with “I recommend” or “I suggest” or stop using this language in your emails.
Stop using language that creates doubt
These are the phrases and questions where you ask the person if they understand you. Rather than wondering if your message is clear, adjust the language so it is while leaving the door open for them to offer feedback or questions.
Remove: “Does that make sense?” “Am I making sense?” or “Do you know what I mean?”
Include: “How does that sound?” “I look forward to hearing your thoughts,” or “Let me know what questions you have about this.”
Stop closing the conversation
This is super important in sales emails. Be sure to give people a clear next step with a call to action and assume their interest. “If” is a key word to avoid here as it allows for ambiguity and avoidance.
Remove: “If you are interested” OR “Let me know if you have questions”
Instead: “When you are ready, your next step is…” “Let me know what questions you have and then…”
Stop making it about you
Remember, business and sales is about serving another person – solving their problem. Even when they ask “What do you think?” Or “What would you do?”, bring the conversation back to them and their vision. Your job as a trusted resource is to empower their vision and ideas (while still be realistic) vs. taking over and telling them what they should do. People are the best experts on their lives and ethical salespeople encourage them to see this.
Remove: “I would definitely be sure to include…”
Instead: “Based on what you have told me about your goals/vision, I would recommend/suggest…”
Need help with honing your communication – say for closing sales? We got you. Apply for a free business evaluation with Krista to learn where you can hone your tactics and be more effective with your efforts.