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You must be able to talk the talk and walk the walk if you want to be a great project manager. Don’t use stock phrases or send overly formal emails. Talk to your clients like you are their partner and help them grow their business.
This style of writing is not what we were taught in school, and it’s not how our customers imagined us talking to them when we started working. However, it’s the best way for clients to build long-lasting, positive relationships. Email etiquette has become a standard.
These are my top tips for writing emails to clients. These are the top no-nos in professional emails to clients. You will see your client relationships blossom.
That is my belief. That was something we discussed in the meeting. It is possible, according to the development team.
Although you might think that believing makes you sound positive and professional, it can actually make you sound detached and less like the person in the knows.
It’s better to simply say “Yes, that’s right.” Or “The development team can do it.” This will make you sound more confident and reliable.
Sometimes clients need to know that you aren’t 100% certain in order to set expectations. Instead of relying upon one word to communicate this, you can simply say: “The development team has looked into it and the first impressions are favorable. I recommend that we give stakeholders half a day to look into the solution and make sure it’s possible.
You will sound more professional and reliable if you take a position. #2. #2.
If we don’t take corrective action, I believe we will burn through 20% of this project. I’m sure we’ll have the resources to do that. If we rethink our approach, I think we can fit it in the timings.
This trio of words – Think. Guess. Suppose – is on my blacklist. I have seen project managers lose their reputations because they ‘guess’ things. Although it sounds harsh, when a client has invested several thousand dollars in a project and you are responsible for delivering it to them, even the smallest details can cause them to be nitpicky.
You can say you think, guess, or suppose in one of two ways. The first is that it appears non-committal, or as if you are putting all of your risk and decision on the client.
The second is that it seems like you don’t know what you are doing or talking about, so you make a best guess. These are not going to portray you in a positive light.
When you find yourself typing words into professional emails, why not try words such as forecast, estimate, or the phrase? “We can complete X within the timeframes if we are willing to descope and Y.” This shows that you have taken the time to analyze the situation and have a professional recommendation to give based on facts, not guesses.
Do not make your clients doubt your professionalism. #3. #3.
First impressions are just as important as professional email subject lines. The first few words of an email are as important as the subject line. It’s what the recipient sees first. If you get this wrong, your email tone will be off. It’s difficult enough to get someone to read your email and understand what you meant. So why make it more difficult by opening with a line that puts them on the back foot.
If you are unsure about whether an opening is bad, think back to emails that you have received that immediately put you in a negative frame of mind. When I’m with the et al, some of my favorite lines are “Hi Janet et al”. I don’t feel the love there.
Another favorite is the email that just starts, “Peta”, and launches directly into content. No hello, no hi, just straight to the business. I