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Sales Debate #1 – Can You Build Relationships Via Email?
Apr 10, 2016 | The Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

With the ease of modern communicative mediums, building strong relationships with your prospects and clients proves to be more difficult and yet more important as the sales landscape develops. Are phone conversations and in-person meetings the only way to develop strong connections? Or can salespeople tap into what is perceived as the most ‘cold’ method of communication and actually develop strong relationships? To get the sale, you’ve got to build relationships, foster customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement; all possible through email.

The main strength of communicating through email is that it takes advantage of your prospects and clients most prolific touch point; their inbox. Why is it that every new website or social networking site you visit asks for your email address? Whether we realize it or not, email has become one of the most important ways to communicate.

Here are 7 sales strategies to help you develop and nurture your prospect relationships over email. 

 

The Personal Factor
Let face it, one of the quickest ways of deterring prospects from opening, let alone connecting with your message, is when your communication screams ‘you are part of a mass email list!’. Each one of your prospects and clients are unique, therefore they each require attention. Remember, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%*. How can you keep your email messages personal?

Segmentation
Email segmentation is one of the most effective methods of addressing the unique interests of your prospects and clients. Email segmentation offers the opportunity to send out unique emails that cater to characteristics such as demographic, location and interests. By sending out multiple email campaigns to distinct segmented lists, you can deliver messages that better relate to the specific needs of your consumers. This will not only deepen your sales relationships, but it will help generate your next sale.

Content
Although personalizing content is an obvious email strategy, many salespeople don’t.  Grab your prospects attention by touching on their interests, goals, last purchases or frequency of engagement with you. The more you can demonstrate that you understand your customer, the more likely they are to actively engage with you. The more interactions you have, the better your relationship. 

Tone
There is no better way to steer your email into the deleted folder than to approach prospects and clients like a robot.  Use personal pronouns, like “you” and “me”, not “they”. People will inherently speak more openly with someone they can connect with, not a computer.

Keep in Touch
Similar to the relationships in your personal life, keeping in touch with your prospects and clients is vital. If a prospect is compelled enough with your business to give you their email address, it is in your best interest to invest time in developing that relationship.

A common characteristic among sales teams who continually fail to meet their targets, but have a full sales funnel, is the inability to nurture the list properly. How can you keep your brand at the forefront of your leads mind? Sending resources to your lead list is a wonderful way of maintaining an engaged relationship. Offer newsletters, blog posts or articles that would be of interest to your prospect. Ensure they know you understand their world and are there to offer assistance. There is no better way to close off relationships than to insinuate you are only communicating for the sale. Companies that excel at nurturing their relationships have 9% more sales reps making quota. Pestering clients to purchase will send them straight to the competition.  Be a resource, not a bank.

Gain Trust
The bottom line of building relationships through email is humanizing your approach. While getting to know your customer through email is different that building relationships over the phone or in person, you can still exude personality to build relationships and achieve sales.
 
When sending emails, always add a human element to your subject line. Including your name or your company’s name in the subject line may sound redundant, but the more your prospect see your name, the more they will identify with you. The point here is to increase the trust level with your recipients.

Verdict
Can we build strong relationships through text? Yes, email has proven itself as an effective method when striving to nurture your leads. Therefore, take advantage of your prospects and clients most prolific touch point; their inbox!

About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter.
Contact us today at MemberServices@cpsa.com or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.

Copyright ©2015 by The Canadian Professional Sales Association
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Recommended Reading:
How to Write Emails that Get a Response
5 Sales Habits Giving You a Bad Reputation

 

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