Monthly Archives: February 2014

Writing Killer Emails Part 2

by Greg Hague

This is part two of a three part series.

Senior man working from home with laptop computer

Emails from you? I read every one.

I often learn more about people from emails than anything they do. Are they articulate? Can they spell? Do they proof or just type and shoot?  Emails are a resume, a window into who you are.

Want to write better emails? Here are a few tips that may help:

1.   First ask yourself, should I email or pick up the phone?

2.   Don’t waste the subject line. Say something intriguing.  Give me a reason to click.

3.   Start with your action item. What do you want me to do?

4.   Get to the point. You have only a few seconds to capture my attention.

5.   Use minimum words. Get rid of the oatmeal. What’s the point?

6.   Make sentences brief. Minimize conjunctives.

7.   Use short, well-spaced paragraphs, bullets & numbers. It’s easier to read.

8.   Compliment me. Say something nice. I eat it up.

9.   Add personality. Write like it’s you, not a drone.

10. Indicate when no reply is necessary. I love those words.

11. Limit emails to one subject. It’s better to send three with one point than one with three points.

12. Emails are no place for foul language, neither is life.

13. A “branded” signature makes a professional statement about you and your company.

14. Convert attachments to text when feasible. It’s easier to read on a smartphone.

15. Make certain that those you “bcc” know not to “reply all.”

16. Before you hit “send” take one last look.  There’s no pulling it back.



Savvy Says . . .

If you care about your image, use care in writing emails.


Coach Crosby

by Greg Hague


Crosby and Brandon

Have you ever witnessed a full moon appear while the sun is still shining?  Or a rainbow emerge in the fury of a thunderstorm?

Sometimes things aren’t what we naturally expect. It’s true in science.

It’s also the case with fathers and sons.

Dads are supposed to mentor their sons. But when dads do it well, sons often become the guiding light for their dads.

That has certainly been the case with my boys. These days I learn as much from them as they do from me.  My friend, Brandon, is enjoying a similar experience.

Brandon Steiner is a brilliant, successful entrepreneur. His New York-based Steiner Sports is the largest sports memorabilia company in the world.

In a recent blog, Brandon shared some words of wisdom from his son, Crosby. I asked Brandon if I might share some of “Coach Crosby’s” insightful son-to-father wisdom with my Savvy Dad readers.

Enjoy . . .

High School

Pick where you go to college for the “wrong” reasons. Sports, weather, social scene, etc.  If those things are important to you now, they will still matter when you’re there.

Savor your fleeting moments. There are a lot of experiences you’ll have that you just won’t ever be able to recreate.



Freshman Year

Meeting people should be your number one priority.

Classes are easy…a lot easier than upper level classes. Set the bar high for your GPA.

Effectively manage your time. If you don’t go to class, your grade suffers. Period. But, just being in class doesn’t mean you’re going to learn (especially if you spend the entire time playing snake on your phone).


Sophomore Year

Write a resume: You might not think you have enough to put on there now, but you will. Use what you do have as a base to start with. Always ask someone to review it.

Recruiters have great memories: Go to career fairs, corporate events and presentations. They’ll be calling you when you do need an internship/job. Besides, you get free food.

Join a club. Become president of said club. Fill formerly empty resume.


Junior Year

The people you choose to spend the most time with will have the greatest effect on your happiness. Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to re-evaluate who you’re hanging out with every so often

See the value in any experience: I passed up the chance to spend three months roaming around Europe so I could take an internship and add another line on my resume. I quickly learned the true value of those two options.


Senior Year

Enjoy yourself: Reap the rewards of your hard work by taking every opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family.

Go on a road trip: There is nothing more exciting than getting in a car and seeing the country.  Stop anywhere and everywhere you can south of the mason dixon line for BBQ and/or Chik-fil-A.

Savor your fleeting moments. There are a lot of experiences you’ll have that you just won’t ever be able to recreate. (Sound familiar?).



Get a job: Take the process seriously, but don’t get caught up in what opportunities your friends are getting. Run your own race.

Seize the moment: I once got a call from a buddy during class. He said he had a ticket to the Michigan-OSU basketball game in Columbus. Tip-off was in six hours and we were 200 miles away…it was a great game.


Final Thought

At an event for students in my five-year program, I had a conversation with the program’s benefactor and namesake, an extremely successful real estate developer. As he discussed his houses in Vail, Florida and New York, I exclaimed how exciting that must be. I’ll never forget his reply:

“Yeah, having houses across the globe gives my wife something to do, but it’s all B.S. I couldn’t care less about them. The only thing that matters in life is relationships with friends and family. That’s it.”

Here is the link to Brandon’s Full Blog.

Writing Killer Emails

by Greg Hague

This is part one of a three part series.




I often feel like a deletion machine. Bang, bang, bang . . . how fast can I dump all those unwanted emails?  Bet you do too.

But then you hesitate. An email subject line grabs your eye. You think, I don’t want to take the time to read this – but you do.

You don’t know the sender, but you’re compelled to open the darn thing anyway. The subject line is so intriguing, you have to take a quick peek.

Emails from people you know?  When I see a killer subject line from family or friends, I think, Wow, my son, wife or buddy really came up with a good one.

Pretty cool . . . always impressive.

What about when looking for a job?  Right now I am interviewing candidates to find a top-notch executive assistant. I won’t bother to meet with an applicant until I assess their communication skills through a few emails.

What do I look for first?

An engaging subject line.



There are two general subject line strategies depending upon the impression you want to make.


A “CUT TO THE CHASE” SUBJECT LINE . . . it’s the essence of your email.

* Use it to ask a key question.

* Use it to summarize what you want them to do.

* Use it to make a key point.


A “DON’T BE BORING” SUBJECT LINE . . . it appeals to an emotional trigger.

*  The fear-invoking line:

Don’t let your child be embarrassed on the first day of school.

*  The newspaper headline:

Savvy Dad discovers secret to eternal happiness.

*  The curiosity line:

How to identify when people lie.

*  The benefits line:

Earn $1000 a day while you travel and play.

*  The question line:

Do you know how to make people like you in 90 seconds or less?


The bottom line on the subject line?  It’s the gist of your email.


Savvy Says . . .

The subject line is your first impression – and you know what is said about first impressions.


3 Ways To Make People Like You

by Greg Hague

People are attracted to people who look like, act like, and have interests similar to theirs.

Want to hit it off instantly with the people you meet?

1. Reflect their look. 

2. Mirror their actions. 

3. Know their interests. 





* Dress slightly upscale of those you’re likely to meet.

* Each day presume you’ll run into someone who can open a life-changing door. You might.

* Don’t be boring! I have a few handmade ties with tiny Swarovski crystals embedded in the material. They elicit compliments and help me stand out in a positive way.   

I know we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we do.





* When you first meet people, adjust to their vibe.

* Be sensitive to their handshake and squeeze back with a similar grip.

* Be more animated with an enthusiastic person and tone it down with a somber type.

* Speak with a similar rhythm and speed.





* Research people you’re going to meet. It’s easy with Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.

* When you are invited to small parties, call the host in advance for the scoop on the guests.

* Before attending large events ask for the seating chart. Identify the people you want to meet. Keep notes tucked away in your pocket for a quick glance before you wander over to their table.


Savvy Says . . .

“If you work at making friends you may never have to work again.”


A Tip to Establish Instant Rapport

by Greg Hague

A Tip to Establish Instant Rapport

establish raport

A world-class network of friends? To me, that’s job #1.

My friend Bruce says, “Deals don’t make you money, people do.”

How true. Whatever you want, someone else has.

These days the rage is about building a “list.” This often means accumulating a database of people through email campaigns.

My Choice?

I’d rather have 200 people who know me, care about me, and want to help me, than 200,000 who wish I’d quit clogging their email inbox.

But just getting out to meet people isn’t enough. It’s pointless to index people who aren’t interested in knowing you. With that in mind, here is a tip for hitting it off right off the bat:

Look like ‘em. Act like ‘em. Know what interests ‘em.

People are naturally attracted to those who look like them, act like them, and have similar interests.

I’m not suggesting that you change who you are. I am suggesting that you prepare in advance for the people you’ll meet. In the first 30 seconds, adjust to their body language and rhythm of speech.

Savvy Says . . .

“Deals don’t make you money – people do.”


*Next time I’ll be more specific with 9 PRACTICAL TIPS to hit it off right off the bat.