Over the past couple of months I’ve had a business directory company from another country constantly contact me to list with their website. They list all the benefits and are quite persistent. Normally I would register – it’s always good to have my website listed with another service. However, they insist on addressing me as ‘Mr’ and Dear ‘Sir’ and I’ve told them time and again that I am NOT a man.
This leads me to think two things:
1. They don’t read their email and/or comprehend it.
2. They don’t think women can be in business, or perhaps they think a man is at the head guiding the woman.
This may be a cultural thing but I believe in order to connect with others from another country, it is equally important to be careful to read their email responses and address people appropriately. I recently had a man from yet another country address me as ‘mother’ because in his country it’s a sign of respect to an older woman. I had to explain to him I didn’t feel comfortable with that address and it’s not done that way where I live and gave him permission to address me by my name.
I just want to encourage all to think carefully about how you address people in other countries and try to be aware of the cultural differences. It is also important to check whether the person you are addressing is a man or a woman (especially if their firstname doesn’t give any indication) – if they have a website or are listed on the web somewhere, it is often quite easy to find this out. And if someone emails you asking you not to address them a particular way, please take note of that and don’t ignore it. It could make the difference as to whether you do business with them or not. KMT
Addendum:Â Received another email (30th Jan) from the directory company mentioned above – they are still addressing the email as ‘Dear Sir’, even though they are personally answering my emails which have explained I am NOT a man.