Written by Mark Lange, Business Development Manager
More than five years ago, an equipment vendor introduced me to the CFO of an impressive start up semi-conductor company. During the email exchanges with the CFO, his greeting was always “Dear Mark”. I liked it. Maybe a bit formal but I liked it. Of course, I mirrored the greeting and all of my future emails with this CFO began with “Dear” as the greeting. The sizable deal closed…a nice win-win. I thought it prudent to continue the “Dear” salutation with other prospects. I am not usually superstitious though I did not want to take any chances. The big challenge would be to continue the “Dear” on more than the first email exchange. My “Dear” salutation was not ironclad, I do make exceptions when it seems best to use a more informal approach. For me, the general rule became to use “Dear” as much as possible and not use it when my instincts suggested otherwise.
My biggest takeaway was not business related though. I researched the definitions of the word “dear”; regarded with affection, cherished. Synonyms include; precious, adored, loved. I reflected on the greeting I used for my wife and others close to me and compared it to the emails with this west coast CFO I had never met. I wouldn’t say that I had it backwards, I still believe in a more formal approach in business communications when it’s appropriate. Now however, my emails, texts, and messages on the refrigerator white board to my wife always start with “Dear Adama”.