How to Deal with Unsolicited Enquiries
Let's face it. We all have to deal with emails, call, and messages that only serves to annoy us - whether it be requests to play games on Facebook, unjustified complaints on Twitter, or colleagues asking too many questions about matters that have nothing to do with them. In an age where information is rife and the internet is swarming with troublemakers, we must remember to rise above the noise and find solace to think clearly and carefully about whether such annoyances should ruin your productivity or simply throw in the trash.
We believe that all governments, organisations and institutions should try to be as transparent about their business and conduct as possible within their remit. Of course, this becomes difficult when dealing with NDA confidentialities and sensitivities that could tarnish the trust you have built between yourself and your client, but a little goes a long way.
Here is our method on dealing with unsolicited enquiries and how best to get a response should you wish to contact us.
1. Be Clear Why You Request Information
When making an enquiry, check whether the information seek is already published. If you still have questions, be clear on what information you request and explain the reasons for your interest. Companies receive hundreds of emails a day and do not have time to respond to every single enquiry, particularly those that may appear to be spurious or malicious. Make it easy for them to respond to you by being open and honest yourself.
2. Who Are You?
It is always useful to provide information to the company about who you are. Emailing without revealing some details about yourself may invoke a sense of anonymity that may be counterproductive to your enquiry. Companies are experts in conducting due diligence on individuals just like you. It is better to not give them a reason to look into your profile by offering a friendly introduction.
3. Legitimacy Lies within the Email Address
The email address you choose to use in contacting a company can make or break your relationship with them. If your enquiry is business-related, it is better to use a professional email address. If your enquiry is personal, be sure that your email address is a good reflection on you and does not scream "SPAM". Would you open an email from "Iamwatchingyou@gmail.com"? Neither would we!
4. Spam versus Bam!
No matter how sophisticated your email software may be, there is no getting away from spam emails. But did you know that unsolicited emails are often treated as ‘spam’ especially when the emails are rude, unhelpful and simply a chore to deal with? Reminding the company that your poorly crafted message has yet to be responded does not make your email a company obligation. You may wish to review your original request and perhaps try again.
5. Demand, Demand, Demand.
Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the public have become accustomed to accessing information held by public authorities. However, the Act does not apply to private companies, including non-profits and social enterprises, and therefore are not legally obligated to answer unsolicited enquiries should they wish to pass. This does not necessarily mean that the company has something to hide, nor does it give individuals the right to continue demanding information that the company have not made public. Any responsible organisation will publish information about their activities on their website. Make sure you also check out their social media channels before sending out more emails. Information is available if you look hard enough.
6. Respect is a Two-Way Street
We treat all incoming emails with respect but if the email itself is written out to simply smear our work, colleagues or organisation, your enquiry may be forwarded to a relevant authority and may be reported. Be careful on how you conduct yourself. Sometimes, enquiries are posted to simply start trouble, unless accompanied by reasonable details and explanation. No-one likes to be ignored so try to make sure your email is constructed respectfully so that companies are happy to assist you.