Do This When Sending Emails During the Sales Process

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Sending an emailCorresponding with your prospects via email messaging during the sales process is often necessary, yet can cause some serious problems. Misunderstandings and mistakes can cost you sales and money. It is vital that your email correspondence is clear, concise and effective. Below are three important email tips that will help you maintain continuity and flow during the sales process.

Keep it Short and Sweet
One of the main problems sales people have with email is that they tend to write too much. You hit on two, three or even four or more topics within the same body of text. While often these topics, ideas or thoughts can be seemingly small, when you group them together in one text, it causes a problem.

When speaking with a prospect in person, you may cover several items in a single statement. However, when doing this, the prospect always has the opportunity to interject with a question, a thought or even an objection to the matter.  In addition, you are there to see the prospect’s reaction to what you have just said. If the prospect’s facial expression changes as you are speaking, you are able to stop and inquire.  The prospect can interject even on the telephone.

In an email, you must remember that the prospect has no way to interrupt your statement and you have no visual or audible clues to their need or desire to do so. So, keep your emails short. Try to cover only one topic or idea of discussion at a time.

Think this way: if you were speaking with the prospect face-to-face, where would you pause or look the prospect in the eyes for confirmation, acceptance or response? Think of those moments that you would pause, just long enough for the prospect to respond. It is at those points that you want to end your emails. Conclude that message as a “portion” of the entire message. Clarify and confirm one piece of information at a time.

Assume Nothing: Rephrase and Reconfirm Everything
Another real problem with email is that there is no voice inflection. You cannot hear how the prospect said what they said. This leads to misunderstanding and costly problems. As an example, the prospect emails this:

“Well, with our current situation, I think I will have to wait just a little while on this project.”

The sales person assumes this is an objection and begins to react and respond as such. When in fact, the prospect meant she would have to wait a week or so. Instead of closing this week, she will have to close next week. If you could have heard the prospect’s voice, it may have sounded like this:

“Well, with our current situation, I think I will have to wait just a little while on this project.”

With the voice inflection on the word “little,” the sales person would have known that prospect was not objecting to the deal, only to a bit of time.

Do not assume anything. Rephrase the statement, send it back and ask to clarify.

Prospect’s Email: “Well, with our current situation, I think I will have to wait just a little while on this project.”

Sales Person’s Email: “Susan, I am not sure I understand exactly what you mean by a little while. Are your referring to waiting a few days, a month or putting off the project indefinitely? Could you please clarify your thoughts?”

End With a Question
Lastly, in sending effective email messages, is to try to conclude most of your emails with a question. Conclude your text with some question to which you wish the prospect to respond. Of course, there are times not to do this as when you both have agreed to a meeting and the prospect’s last text is something like, “I’ll see you next week.”

However, during the back and forth e-conversation, do not assume the prospect will respond to a non-question. If you are looking for a response, then end the email with a direct question.

Keep it short and sweet
Assume Nothing: Rephrase and Reconfirm Everything and
End With a Question

And you’ll have more email success.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 1 September, 2011

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