Are you a details person?
Many people are bored by details (probably all of us really – we just like details in some things, not all things) and that includes details of grammar and good writing.
You can’t convince me with poor attention to details
I received a letter a few days ago.
A nicely presented letter has little value if the details in the letter are wrong.
I like getting letters, and it doesn’t happen as often now we have so many electronic options available to us. So it’s disappointing when the letter turns out to be spam or a scam rather than something interesting.
This particular letter I recognised as spam straight away as I’ve received rubbish from this group before (and so have clients who luckily ask me if it is legitimate before acting).
However, standing in the sun was nice so I actually read their letter and found numerous reasons to not act as they wished.
- they were using an email address I have never used so obviously made it up – to convince me you are credible, use my real email address
- they missed the .au in my email and website addresses – and coming from an Australian company wanting to promote me in an Australian directory makes it even more pathetic to my mind. It wouldn’t take long to look at my website to discover the .au in the URL
- it was sent to my home address but addressed to Word Constructions – a detail that made me instantly suspicious anyway.
- paragraph one includes “This now includes additional subscriber benefits listed below” which is grammatically poor; paragraph three includes “… entitle you to additional subscriber benefits (see below).”
However, the letter does not contain any subscriber benefits.
- a smaller detail is lack of consistency such as “The Internet reaches 15 million… (internet analysis…” (Internet or internet – they need to choose one and list that in a style guide)
- multiple sentences were missing words or just didn’t make sense – one will be discussed and improved in my March newsletter I think!
- two sentences in a row ‘kindly’ requested me to do something – is it kind of me to sign a form to (supposedly) get promotion via their directory?
Businesses need to watch the details
Get the details right and people are not distracted by the mistakes – meaning they can focus on your call to action or message.
Get the details wrong and people doubt your professionalism
and worry whether you pay attention to details when they are paying you. That is, if you throw together a letter instead of putting effort into every word of it, will you also rush through fixing my car, cutting my hair, building my house, designing my website and so on?
It’s nice to think people will ignore errors because we’re nice people with good intentions.
But first impressions count and if those incorrect details are the first thing a potential customer sees, it can be enough to give your competitor the job.
So how does your business avoid errors in the details?
How does your business react to potential suppliers if they get details wrong?