First of all, that’s great news. Email is a useful but tricky communication tool. So a few general rules about email communication.
- Keep it brief. Use bullets, numbering or other spacing to write your message. No one wants to open an email and see long paragraphs. These are especially difficult to read on a hand-held device.
- Be mindful of your choice of words and tone. Email is easily misinterpreted because one can neither hear nor see the person. Use short sentences. If you are unsure about how it sounds, read it out loud. Reading out loud is good for any writing you do. You’ll be amazed what you notice when you do.
Regarding the inquiry you received, there is nothing wrong with saying that you were delighted to hear from the person and that you look forward to further discussions or meeting with them. After all, you are delighted. Also:
- Ask what prompted their interest? This information will help you prepare for the follow-up conversations. It is also useful information for your own brand or name recognition.
- If you have some other information to share in an attachment, even if you are not sure if that is what was requested, you can do this. Be sure you are not giving away too much early on. You don’t want the person to think they can get everything they need without meeting you.
- Propose a specific plan for follow-up: For example, I will call your office tomorrow week to schedule a time for a longer conversation. Or: Do you have time for a call/chat on enter specific date here? The only problem with asking a question is that again the ball is in the other person’s court. They may or may not answer your question. Whereas if you call the office, you are taking the lead — and you are showing your commitment, because you are doing what you said you would do.