Email is an extremely valuable tool that continues to make its mark in the professional sales community. The ability to connect one-to-one with ease and depth of attention is not easily replaceable.
While we all have our own configurations and email provider, the way in which you use email communications can have a positive or negative effect on your sales opportunities. When you get rejections or, even worse, your prospects ignore you, it is hard to rebound.
The way you interact on email can be costing you sales. Be sure to analyze your performance against these five pitfalls
1. Using subject lines that are boring and impersonal. Know this one fact: your prospective customers are no different from you. They have full email inboxes and they are overwhelmed. When they see dozens or even hundreds of emails in their inbox, they are attracted to different emails and compare them by their subject lines. If you are boring, your communications won't get opened or noticed. Having energy, action and enticement are important to standing out in a list of hundreds of demanding emails.
2. Sending emails at the wrong times. Timing is an art form in sales. Following up a phone call with a summary of the conversation and agreed upon next steps is good timing. Sending that email four days later misses the open window. Be sure to send communications at the right time with the right context. Think about where your customer is at in their days work and mind-set to deliver your emails.
3. Entertaining long communication threads that lose momentum. When there is a long diatribe that continues to go back and forth with lengthy answers, think twice. You could be jeopardizing the sale and losing sight of the goal. Email is for saying "yes" and answering or asking questions. Otherwise, it is best to pick up the phone and have a conversation. Keep email discussions succinct and directed. This will keep the interchange focused towards the goal of doing business together.
4. Making your customer work. If your grammar and spelling suffer, then it is distracting and hard to get through your content. Care enough to clean it up. Additionally, be sure to ask for one clear and specific action or next step. If your customer has to work hard to decipher the meaning of your communication, then you risk losing their attention. Put yourself in your recipient's shoes and think about whether it is clear and predictable. What they will do after reading your email?
5. Not matching the tone and formality of your customer. Building trust with your customer includes tuning into their preferences. If they are casual in their tone and communications, then don't reciprocate with a high level of formality, it creates a disconnection. If they are formal, then don't be casual. Treat each customer as an individual, observe their tone and formality and adjust your own to match theirs in an effort to build trust.
The way you handle email communications can jeopardize sales. By avoiding these five pitfalls in your daily communications, the relationships you create and foster over email will grow.
Email is a medium to build trust, so be sensitive to how your customers will interpret your emails within the context of their mind-sets. It may take a bit more effort, but you will avoid the mistakes that can cost sales.
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