Getting In Touch

Laural Carr

November 2015

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Special Giveaway – Have you ever sent a "Joe Friday" email?

I just repaired a relationship that might have been ditched after a series of emails.

Have you ever sent one of those ultra-efficient emails I like to call a "Joe Friday"? I named it after the no-nonsense detective in the TV series "Dragnet" known for his catchphrase, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Here's what happened. After a positive phone conversation outlining a project with a supplier, I received a quick, to-the-point email confirmation, "Confirmed. Is this in line?"

To avoid any misunderstanding, I squeezed in a "Joe Friday" reply of my own saying, "Yes, in line. Here's the scope agreed to..." and I listed what was discussed by phone, believing all was crystal clear.

Later I received a curt email from the supplier withdrawing from the project, to which I replied, "I don't understand." Fortunately, we were able to quickly arrange a phone call to clear the air.

Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time, says, "The conversation is the relationship." Therefore, if you are not in conversation, you are not in the relationship.

Our inboxes are overflowing, but it is key to keep all your email conversations engaging and effective. Here are our five guiding principles:
  1. Use a subject line specific to the email content, e.g. "New Opportunity" or "Holiday Schedule"
  2. Always start with the person's name, e.g. "Hello George," or "Hi Sara,"
  3. Always be clear on any action to be taken, e.g. "Kindly reply to confirm."
  4. Always end with a positive engaging statement, e.g. "Looking forward to hearing from you." or "Let me know if you have any questions."
  5. At the first sign of email-awkwardness, pick-up the phone or meet to clear any misunderstanding.
What are your guidelines for effective email conversations? Share them for a chance to win a copy of Susan Scott's book. Get in touch at, or 416.538.3330 or visit our website.

Wishing you success finding more of your best clients,