Confession time. I had three incidents this week that caused my hand to hit my forehead. Two were my fault; one happened to me.
I’ll start with a personal blooper.
In a rush to connect with someone on LinkedIn, I hit the “Connect” button on my iPhone. I completely forgot that the mobile connect button doesn’t prompt you to send the connection request with a custom message like the desktop website does.
Why is this important? I’m making an effort to build more relationships and be less of a collector of connections. Hitting connect and sending a request doesn’t provide any value to the ask for me as the sender or them as the receiver. Plus it’s just lazy and shows a real lack of sincerity in the request. Take a minute, write a personal message, explain why you think it’s worthwhile for them to connect with you, and make sure you spell their name correctly.
Did you catch that last comment?
Yep, that was my second oopsie. To add some meaningful intent to my connection request, I quickly followed up the initial connection request with a personal message. Unfortunately, I misspelled this person’s first name. Not sure about you, but I believe spelling someone’s name correctly is the simplest of ways to show that you care.
Thankfully, my connection request was accepted. I owned the typo, apologized in a follow-up message, and we were both able to learn from my mistake together. Vulnerability meets opportunity. In that quick exchange of introductions, we both acknowledged that failure (to pay attention to details) is only failure if you don’t learn from it.
The last face plant moment involved a salesperson.
I had been using a demo account of some software and decided it wasn’t the right fit for my company’s need. After my cancelation request, a customer service rep followed up with me via email and shared a video screenshot review of our website and explained how her product could benefit our company if we gave it another chance. Unfortunately, the site she reviewed wasn’t our company’s site, nor was the company name she used in her introductory email. Oops! To her credit, she did get my name right.
Why do I share these stories?
Don’t rush from task to task, especially when you’re trying to build relationships. When you think you’re ready to hit send, stop. Proofread what you’re about to send. Make sure you’re not about to embarrass yourself, or much worse, embarrass your company and potentially lose a sale.
They say “the devil is in the detail.”
I would argue the real danger is in not paying attention to details. Proofread that connection request, blog post, or business proposal. I get that nobody’s perfect, believe me. Next time you’re about to hit send and aren’t 110% sure you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s, take a few minutes to CYA. As Wikipedia says, maybe the real saying is that “God is in the detail.”