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Want a Response? Ask a Question

About 90% of my daily communication is done by email. I text and answer the phone, but I generate leads, follow up on them, keep in touch, and confirm appointments by email. In fact, I tell people, whether they text me to meet or call to schedule something, "Email me." (As I'm writing this, I just scheduled lunch today with my mom...you guessed it...via email.)

As you can imagine, this has me sending and receiving many messages on any given day. I don't know a ton of tricks, shortcuts or gimmicks, but I have learned this:

You can stand out and get a response when you ask a question.

So, lately, I've started closing emails with

What else can I do for you?

As opposed to

Let me know if you have any questions.

The question lets the recipient know you're interested in having a conversation, and that you've done the work required to get that conversation started. You're listening. You want an answer.

The generic "Let me know..." puts the reader in a no-person's land. How should they let you know? What's a valid question? What if it's just a small thing? Are you the contact for a particular issue? What if they have an idea, but not a question?

Don't be lazy. Ask a question and you'll get an answer and the collaboration, partnership, or deal will go to the next level.

Other good questions:

  • How else can we work together?
  • What concerns do you have?
  • Any other ideas?
  • Who else can we bring in on this?
  • What have I not thought of?
  • What's the next step?
  • How can this be better?
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