Texting has become commonplace, but don’t ever text a customer or prospect — unless they have first texted you.

Yes, texting is a form of communication, but it is a form of communication without boundaries and that’s where we can get into problem.  What one person may view as acceptable another person may view as unacceptable.

First problem with texting customers is if they will even know who the text is coming from.

Every few weeks I receive a text from someone who immediately jumps in and shares with me some piece of information.  Nothing wrong with this, but I have no idea who it came from.  I have an iPhone, and the only time it identifies who the text is from is if I already have that person’s name and number in my contacts.

My experience is going to be similar to just about anyone else with a cell phone.  For this reason, I do not text a customer unless they have first sent a text to me.

A second factor to consider is the value of time. When many people send a text, they expect an immediate response. There’s nothing abnormal about this, assuming the person receiving the text feels the same way.  For this reason, it is just better to let a customer or prospect be the one to do the initial text.

The third issue is the wide use of abbreviations. What one person may abbreviate one way another person may very well abbreviate using different letters.  Obviously this can result in a huge problem if the two people texting have different ideas of what they are each saying.

Nobody really knows for sure what role text messaging will play in the business world 2 years, 5 years, or even 10 years from now.

But for now I’ll stick with my rule of not using text messaging until the other person has sent me one first.  And even when we do engage in texting, I hold fast to the rule of no abbreviations, no slang, and no lengthy texts.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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