Tag Archives: skills

Unwritten etiquette rules in business writing

Communicating on behalf of your business requires professionalism and a clear understanding of writing etiquette. For many reasons, you need to pay attention to detail when writing for business as writing does not always portray the tone and humour you hoped for a client to read. Keep your writing clear and to the point. After all, you want to be taken seriously with whatever you say to a client or customer.

Not everyone is capable of writing beautiful emails and lengthy business strategies in a professional manner. If that is the case for you or one of your staff members, consider looking into business writing skills courses. Skills development in the workplace is always valuable for any position, giving employees the tools they need to succeed in many different environments, and on a professional level. 

Here are a few important tips to consider when writing for your business:

  • Avoid slang and jargon in your writing

So, you might be a jolly employee or content writer who is used to writing humorous blog articles and so forth, but when you’re writing to a professional in the industry, you need to keep your approach standard and neutral. If you don’t know the person, you might not know what type of mood they’re going to receive your email in or what their personality is like, so this could lead to a very bad experience. Another tip is that you might not be contacting someone in your field of work, therefore they will not be familiar with your jargon. Stick to formal writing that is free of slang and any complex words that might make it difficult for the person reading the email to understand. After all, the wrong approach can cause a major misunderstanding which could have been prevented by keeping to the topic and being clear.

  • Keep business emails conversational

As much as you want to keep it formal and professional, try to steer away from having your business writing sound like a sales pitch. You need to speak in a conversational manner, without overstuffing the content with fluffy information that doesn’t add any value. Keep things to the point, but write according to the way that you speak. Always remember that an email is a business conversation through a different medium, so should you be meeting up with your colleague, client or customer thereafter, you will need to continue your conversation in such a way that complements your business writing on paper.

  • Consider cultural differences

When speaking on behalf of your business or the company which you work for, it’s important to consider cultural differences. You might not know the person who you will be communicating with, therefore a standard universal communication approach is best. Always avoid political encounters and respect the cultural differences the person might have. Everyone has different attitudes and beliefs on certain topics, therefore you need to think carefully about your words and try your best not to offend the reader in any way. The same goes for blog writing and general business communications, offline and online.

  • General know-how

Once you’ve considered the above, think about the time in which you send and respond to emails as this could negatively affect your relationship with the person on the other side. Speak with courtesy and address people in the right manner. If you’ve received an email from someone with other people copied into the email, be sure to think wisely about replying to “all”. Business communication is restrictive in the sense that you should only show others what they need to know. It could look petty if you copy everyone in everytime you receive an email, and it could give away confidential information to the wrong people. As minor as you might think the need for business writing skills and courses can be, always remember that the first encounter over email can leave a good or bad impression. You choose what you’d like to portray.

Proofread the copy before you press send and make sure that you spell everyone’s names properly.

Final thoughts

Staff training in Cape Town and elsewhere in South Africa is something businesses should always consider when looking to make a good impression. People who deal with clients and projects on a daily basis will have a knack for good business writing skills. However, if you’re not familiar with how to communicate with your customers, you need to learn how to speak professionally for your own good and the sake of your company.

The above-mentioned tips are four simple, yet very important rules of email and writing etiquette you should keep in mind if you want to impress the next person you communicate with. Creating new relationships with clients will depend on the type of impression you’ve made. Successful partnerships have strong communication as their foundation, so be respectful in your choice of words and always be courteous. You’ll be able to avoid several awkward encounters or miscommunications simply by following these tips.

Being savvy about sales

At some point, we all need to put on the shoes of a salesperson. It usually doesn’t matter what our career is or what we’re trying to sell. We will need to convey to someone else a good reason to invest their time or money in what we hope to contribute or sell to them. However, we’re not all salespeople. We should therefore consider skills that salespeople utilise in order to make our own successful transactions.


No one wants to buy from someone who’s uncertain about what they’re selling. If someone is at all hesitant when telling us about a product, we’re going to assume they don’t believe in what they’re saying. As Business Woman Media notes, confidence “creates a balanced, collaborative person who establishes clarity in who they are and their direction.” This is the person we’d rather be engaging with.

Even if we believe our skills or product is incredible, that might mean nothing if we are at all shy or hesitant. In order to be good at sales, we must develop ways to be confident.

Understand customers’ needs

One of the reasons excellent salespeople make the kinds of sales they do is knowing people. If we’re selling cars, we’re already aware that customers are there needing cars. But that’s not enough. We also need to sell those aspects of driving which they won’t even realise they need, for example: security, reliability and affordability.

This applies to new or private car sales, to people buying cars for themselves or for their loved ones. Tapping into universal notions is what gets salespeople into successful transactions. They know what people need. We must do the same within business. We must know what our clients and customers need, even if it means tapping deeper. We aren’t just selling products, we must also sell an ideal world or goal they wish to achieve. Knowing what our clients prioritise is key.

Listening matters

Conveying confidence and knowing our customers is all part of a system of successful sales. When we have the right data, we can confidently say our product or service is the best for the customer. Yet, one important part of acquiring that data and knowing how to adjust is through listening. Without this, we can’t hope to succeed in our sales.

Good salespeople aren’t just good talkers, they’re good listeners, too. Every customer is unique and thus, only by engaging them through communication, can we hope to know how best to sell. This doesn’t mean merely speaking, but proper communication in terms of email, texts and so on, too. We must be willing to ask questions and know what questions to ask.

By combining these essential sales skills, we can match the masters themselves. Each one of these is useful individually, but put together, they form a powerful method to help improve our business.