How to aggravate someone without even really trying…

Why is it that if you ask someone several questions at once in an email that so often you only get an answer to one or two of the questions?

Is the recipient not reading the whole email? Are they just too busy and don’t pay attention? Or do they simply not care? The last may be the single biggest reason to pay attention!

If you are guilty of this, think about the message you are sending. Do you really want a client or prospect to infer that you are unorganized, too busy, or don’t care?

On a daily basis I send emails with multiple questions. When I do – I usually number them to make it clear that there are multiple questions. Sometimes I will even encourage the person to respond inline. So if there are numbered questions, the answers to the questions should appear immediately below the question and maybe in bold letters or a different color. This is my favorite way to do it. If you answer in one paragraph at the top of the page, not only is it cumbersome for the person who asked the questions, but it is also much more likely that the person answering the questions will forget one or more, or be unclear in the answers.

In many email software programs, to reply inline is easy – you just type your response after the question. In Gmail after you hit reply you look for the little ellipsis (…) at the bottom of the reply screen. If you do not know how to respond inline, you might want to think about learning. If you don’t, another message you could be sending is that you are technologically challenged. Not a good thing in the world of real estate. If you know how and don’t do it – why not? It’s just one more way to set yourself apart from the mooing herd by showing that you are conscientious, focused on their needs and forming your answers so that they are easily read and understood.

It’s not uncommon for me to ask five or six questions, and have to go back and forth with three or four emails to get them all answered. This is an incredible waste of time and when it happens, my opinion of the person answering the questions drops a level with regards to competence and organizational skills. Don’t yours?

If you don’t already do it, consider numbering questions when you ask them, replying inline when you answer them and answering all the questions. Have fun out there!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply