You can initiate, build, and maintain business relationships through writing.
Take a minute and ask yourself how you currently initiate, build, and maintain business relationships? I expect you will say, "Well, I meet the client, we have lunch, we tell each other stories (of ourselves and our companies), we meet again, etc. You may, or may not, identify writing as a relationship building tool.
But, you write e-mails until your fingers hurt, right? (The last study I saw said that the typical business person is receiving 171 each day.) However, you probably don't think of e-mails, notes, memos, etc. as building or destroying a business relationship. And, I doubt that you know that you can write white papers, blogs, tweets and chats, using social media (and conventional media) to share information, probe your clients, and have valuable conversations with them.
You may also not appreciate that your style of writing, good or bad, makes impressions about you and your company. Moreover, you may not understand the great opportunity you have to differentiate yourself and your company through clear,concise, and coherent writing. Much evidence suggests that most of corporate America can't write. This presents a significant opportunity for any company.
Many enlightened executives, because they realize that conversation is the new marketing approach, are blogging and finding other ways to involve their clients in a dialogue. Cognizant's Frank D'Sousa has been doing it, at least internally, for some time. All managers and executives need to know that their clients thirst for knowledge and useful conversation. They, therefore, perceive any educational materials and any exchange of ideas as "love letters."
Anyone can learn the best ways to blog, create white papers and use social media to send these "love letters" and to open and maintain dialogue with their clients and their colleagues. They can learn the best style. They can learn the appropriate grammar. They can learn how to promote their blogs and white papers.
For instance, blog information is rampant and free on the internet. White papers can be downloaded by opting in to many sites. Writing courses, such as "OWL" at Purdue University, offer free materials. Additionally, information about promotional writing and journalism exists at little to no cost on the internet. And, the "EdBarr on Communication" blog is open to all! Pass it on!