At this moment, I have 135 emails in my inbox. I admit to using my inbox as my to-do list, and you may be a “zero-email inboxer.” Either way, we are both being strategic about the email we deal with and how we deal with it.

Whether your prospects favor one extreme or the other, the only way to persuade them to read, archive, or act (hallelujah!) on your email message is to keep it concise and totally relevant.

Tactic #1: Respect your customer.

The clearest sign of respect is to show value for time.  A long email filled with product features or one that doesn’t seem to have any purpose other than to toot the writer’s horn is just wrong, but even a concise email can be disrespectful.

Here is an example of a concise sales effort gone bad:

Hi Name,

I trust this email finds you well. We would like to secure a date to come and an discuss opportunities. How does your calendar look the week of January 6, 2014?



The first sentence is the tip off. Instead of providing an authentic touch point, the email begins with a throwaway sentence. More than that, it reads as if the writer is living in the 19th century! He “trusts” the email finds the recipient well? Who talks like that?

The next sentence is all about the writer and his opportunities. It provides no motivation for the buyer. Oh, and the typos were part of the original email.

The last sentence provides a semi-action. How does my calendar look, you ask? Busy. Very, very busy.

Respect customers by crafting a brief message that helps them see the value in taking precious time to talk to you. Help them understand why it might be to their advantage to meet with you.

And don’t make them take the next step! Make their life easy. Offer to phone them the week of January 6, and suggest that, if there is a time that is most convenient for them, you’ll follow up as they suggest. Take control and make them feel safe in advancing their buying process with you.

Tactic #2: Be relevant.

Upon receiving a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 12 sleeping rooms for one night and a boardroom with accompanying food and beverage, the eager salesperson emailed back:

Thank you for your request! When you see our new 241-slip marina, you will know you made a great choice selecting ABC Hotel.

What? Did the RFP mention a flotilla, and I just missed that part? (And how inauthentic, as an RFP indicates only a consideration of the hotel, not a commitment to select it!)

Just because you are excited about an aspect of your product or service doesn’t mean your customers will be. Align your messaging with what matters to them, not to what excites you. When you can transfer the passion you feel for your product to passion for the prospect’s success, you will enjoy unlimited success.

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