Written by Sean McPheat |
In the recent post, “3 Major Issues to Remember With Email,” I highlighted a few areas that you must keep in mind when e-corresponding with your prospective customers:
2. Remember that email has no emotion. There is no voice inflection or facial expression in an email. So be sure to be clear and concise.
3. Don’t panic from a long response. Delayed responses from the prospect are normal. Don’t allow negative thoughts to take you off target.
With those thoughts in mind, below is a major and common blunder that causes a multitude of problems.
Barking Up the Wrong Tree
While it may be an old and no longer amusing saying, it accurately describes this email issue. The problem is of going off on a long tangent on a topic or benefit for which the prospect sees no value and has no interest.
Those who still pitch benefits instead of pull out problems, suffer with this email blunder the most. The typical sales person inundates the prospect with all of the great features and benefits of their product or service. The quandary is that benefits are not solutions, and you cannot present a solution until you find a need, and you cannot find a need until you unearth the problem. The benefits of your product are only true benefits to the customer if they solve a problem.
In a face-to-face sales interaction and even on the telephone, the sales person can quickly note when the prospect has no interest in a particular benefit, and therefore can drop the subject and move on to something else. In an email however, there is no immediate feedback, and the sales person is likely to go on and on about a particular product feature which is of no value to the customer.
As an example, in a face-to-face or telephone sales interaction, the sales person begins to talk about how her service will also help increase their web traffic. Immediately the prospect informs her that they do not have a problem with traffic; in fact, they have more leads than they can handle. The sales person adapts and moves in another direction. In an email, this same sales person may go on for paragraphs or even pages about increasing web traffic.
Pull Out Problems
Like in all sales interactions, you need to ask questions and uncover problems. Unless you have already determined that the prospect has real interest in the area, do not be long winded. Keep it short and sweet.
Stop and confirm the issue, verify the problem and make sure that what you are talking about is indeed a potential solution. And don’t forget, if it’s ending up a game of “email tennis” wouldn’t it be a lot easier to arrange a call?!
Originally published: 30 November, 2011
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