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A bit of business etiquette

3 min read

A bit of business etiquette

Business, like the social world, requires a bit of etiquette. This is something that I try to keep more than a modicum of within our groups as much as possible. Recently I have had a few brash examples coming up more and more in our intra-network communications. And just like social etiquette it is highly possible that the perpetrators are even unaware that what they are doing is not so desired. However, I tend to believe that they actually have to know. If you see any of this going on in your own company, please do what you can to make sure it stops.

  • E-mail CC Abuse: Last week I have been listed as one of eleven people cc’d into an e-mail on a shipment that has nothing to do with me. This is a real pain in the ‘you know where’ and is wrong on so many levels. First of all, in all of my years working in the freight forwarding world I have never seen a shipment that twelve people needed to have first hand updates on. Whenever this goes on lots of people’s time is wasted. My inbox gets full very fast with this kind of thing. I had to request twice to be taken out of the loop on this so that now only eleven people are in the communications loop. Common sense would tell most people that this communication is ideally good for only two people’s eyes, unless others were directly interested. But in most cases this couldn’t be more than five people on a thread. Twelve? For real? Someone must be trying to make a point but I got a whole different point from that. And not a good one either.
  • Run on E-Mails: Some people write a book when they make an e-mail. I am one of the people who believes that e-mails should naturally max out at five lines. As such I try to keep my e-mails from one to five sentences. If more needs to be said then the writer should consider a phone call or Skype conversation or an in person meeting – if / when they are in the same city. I dare say a majority of people lose interest in reading long, in depth, detailed e-mails. If you have lots to say and it still needs to be e-mailed try using bullet points.
  • Skype / E-Mail hit ups: I have recently been receiving lots of out-of-the blue messages on Skype and e-mails from people only saying “Hi!” or asking me (me?) if I have any shipments for them, blasting me with their rates or sending me unrequested vessel or airplane availability. Now I haven’t received many from our members because most of them know who I am but I see this is quite widespread within the industry. I just want to say that you have a better chance of getting something to stick by throwing spaghetti on the wall than blasting me with your LCL rates over Skype. And I’m not only speaking for myself. It leaves a low image of professionalism on the people who do this and it also tells the recipient that you don’t really have any solid business to work on yourself if you have time to do this. Fair enough, most of the people who approach me with this seem to be junior sales people but some of the people who do it are even company owners!

If you know of anyone in your own company doing any of these business boo boos you will do your company’s reputation a huge favor by telling them to stop. And if you see someone else doing this from another company, by all means please send them the link to this write up. We will all thank you for that!


Gary Dale Cearley is the Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN), one of the fastest growing and most dynamic business-to-business networking organizations in the world. AIN’s networks include AerOceaNetwork (AON)XLProjects Network (XLP), and AiO Logistics Network. Gary Dale has been in many facets of international freight forwarding for more than two decades from operations to sales to the owner of the first 100% foreign owned freight forwarding company licensed in Vietnam. The companies that he has been involved with have been both generalists and specialists. He has also worked from large European and Asian multinationals (Danzas and Hankyu Express) as well has small start up forwarders. For the past ten years Gary Dale has owned and operated AIN. He has lived in several major cities in four different countries and he is multilingual. Currently Gary Dale runs the AIN operation from Bangkok, Thailand, but travels the world over.

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