A client/friend and I had a great conversation today about the need for his sales team to pick up the phone. “They just won’t do it,” he said. And maybe that’s okay.
It’s true that an email – even a great email – can’t convey the tone and depth of passion for the other person’s success. But well-crafted email sales messages can:
1. Start a trusting relationship.
2. Build profitable relationships.
3. Move a person to action.
4. Create an opening for a phone call.
5. Demonstrate your professionalism as a sales person.
6. Clue the prospect that you won’t waste his/her time.
7. Be much more efficient than a phone call.
So how do you get your emails to do all that for you?
1. Be authentic and truthful. If the only way you know them is that they did business with your company some time in the past decade, tell them. Of course, you don’t have to tell them that the sales person before you left you lousy notes or that you have no idea if they were happy with your company, etc. You can say: Awhile back, you ordered widgets from ABC and since then we’ve added X to them to ensure they are Y and Z. I’ll plan to phone you Friday to see if the addition of X might help ensure you achieve F and G.
2. Build profitable relationships by staying in touch. But don’t write to say you’re checking in, or touching base, because you aren’t. You’re writing to stay in touch because you care about their success. Simple and truthful. Tell them.
3. If you want to move a person to action, be clear in what you want and give them a reason to take it or do it. Saying: I’ll call you Thursday, isn’t enough. Saying: I’ll call you Thursday to discuss new options to help you achieve F and G is specific and motivating because it’s about them.
4. Let them know you’ve done your research. You’re not emailing (or phoning) to see if they use widgets or have a need because you’ve checked their website and know the answer to both.
Help them to see you respect their time and you’ll be likely to get them to do the same for you.