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Using E-mail to Sell – Not a Good Idea!
by John Montana Mon, 10/10/2016 - 10:55
There are many salespeople that live by the belief that email is the true and only way to sell to new and existing customers. They feel that they can reach out to more customers and use email as a way to stay in touch. And there is some truth to this belief… however, for the most part, this is untrue. Or let me say it this way… it can be a lazy way to do your job. It is not a good idea to replace telephone calls and actual face-to-face meetings with emails when contacting a potential new client. Or even when staying in touch with an existing client. Some people use email to sell products, to avoid the humiliation of rejection. Also the major disadvantage of taking this approach is that there can be a possibility of not getting an email while awaiting a transaction related to a sales process.
More than seventy-five percent of the businesses today have replaced calls with emails, and in the process have lost the personal touch. The reason why businesses do this is that their sales people feel awkward and are afraid of the rejection when speaking directly with the customer. It hurts less to hear a no though an email. Some people also get tired of hearing the voicemails repeatedly. They think it’s a better idea to switch to emailing their prospects.
When trying to sell products or services to a new client, it’s not possible to gain a customer’s trust through an email, which makes the foundation of a long-term relationship very weak. Some well-to-do firms think that they are recognized in the market but they forget that there are strict spam filters installed. By forgetting these filters, these firms take the risk of sending introductory emails to their potential new customers. BUT, there is very little chance that the prospect will receive the email and will read it. But when calling a potential customer, there is a higher probability of the customer taking the call, and all the resources you’ve invested will be put good use.
If the company still thinks that sending emails to clients is the best approach, then some important points should be addressed.
- The introductory email must contain introduction about the company, brief information about the products and services they offer and information about method of purchase and contact.
- All the information included in the email should give the impression to the reader that the company is interested in benefiting the customer and not themselves.
The introductory email should sound like it’s trying to solve the problems and try to build a strong relationship with the prospective customer. For this the targeted people should be thoroughly researched in order to understand their shortcomings and what they would expect from a particular product. In the first call; do not mention that you think the company and the client will be a great match for each other. Sales pitches should be repelled completely. A sales pitch will turn your new prospect cold in a matter of seconds, and then you will get hung up on much more frequently.
Don’t put your company’s name in the heading of the email. When the company’s name is included in the heading, the customer gets the impression that profit of the company is your top priority and not interest of the customer. It’s a good marketing strategy to include the name of the product being sold, features of the product and how it can solve the problem of the reader. The subject should tell it all, and should also catch the attention in the first glance itself.
In my opinion, it’s best to start emailing your customer ONLY after the foundation of a strong long-term relationship is in place first. At first the customers should be personally approached. Later when the customer’s trust is gained, further dealings can be done through emails. Emails should only act as a back-up method of communicating. Take care that word like “we” should be avoided and replaced with the word “you”. The customer feels that he is being directly referred too.
There should be no negativity in the matter. This sets the mind of the customer in a negative mood and he will actually get the opposite message. For example, instead of writing “We don’t sell low quality product’s, write We sell high quality product’s”. Don’t condition the customer. This creates a pressure on the customer and they will start to avoid any calls and emails from the company.
Emails can be used during difficult times. Suppose some aggravation or misunderstand erupted between the parties, or at least from the side of the customer, and the customer is really pissed off at you or your company. Emails written with polite and gentle words can melt the animosity and can open up good terms again. The best thing is to stop using email as the only way of communicating, completely. Companies that directly reach out to clients reflect higher level of confidence and create a good impression on new customers.
In my experience, I have always found that “Face-to-Face meetings are the best. I have clients that now are so busy, that they have actually asked me to use email more frequently… that this is how they would like me to stay in touch with them. I think that this is ideal… build up your trust so much that by using email as a form of communication is actually the preferred way. This will show you that you are on the right track.