A couple of weeks ago I received a sales email from somebody I have never met that really made think about how we assume that everybody gets it. Everything changed around us from business models, communications, marketing, the internet, social media and yet, are we sure that all of us are understanding and reinventing ourselves to adapt to these changes?
To be honest I gotta say that my first reaction was “I’m gonna trash you like it’s 1999…”, it pissed me off, but today I rather take it as a lesson to be learned AND shared. I should probably say also that I never claimed to be a writer or an expert at anything… Hell, English is not even my first language!
The email said (in regards to one of my posts):
“Hey: Nice content, but . . . are you interested in having your posts edited so as to sound better written?
Seriously . . . we could do wonders for your “voice”
Good luck . . .”
So here are a few (grammatically incorrect) thoughts:
1. Cold calling died a few years ago… Maybe you didn’t get the memo
How about introducing yourself first? If the person on the other side doesn’t even know who you are, what are your chances? If you are an entrepreneur, you should know that people don’t go knocking on doors anymore. Imagine if this happens in the real world, you’re standing in front of a person for the first time and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is your sales pitch…
People get the impression that you’re kind of desperate to close a sale.
2. You don’t need to be a designer, but hire one
We can’t be good at everything and that’s ok, the key is that we delegate those tasks to the right people, specially if you are an entrepreneur. If accounting is not one of your gifts, would you file your company taxes on your own? Of course not. Design is one of the most important aspects of a business first impression, you can actually kill a perfectly decent product if it looks like crap.
You can’t afford to look bad, it damages your reputation. Using Clipart from Microsoft Word is unacceptable.
3. If you don’t know how to write an email, ask for help
Email was invented a couple of decades ago and it is assumed, just like Word, that everyone knows how to use it. Email is most likely a big part of your daily routine, take the time to make sure you’re doing it right. If you are not sure, google “email etiquette” and invest 10 minutes.
If your intention is to make email part of your marketing or sales strategy you should definitely allocate some time into learning how to do it or you will be burning leads left and right.
4. Fake it ’til you make it
You know what I’m talking about, you can’t pretend to sell houses in Beverly Hills if you’re driving a ’92 Hyunday… I’m not suggesting you buy a Mercedez if you can’t afford it, just make sure you’re not damaging your reputation while chasing business. If you are trying to pitch a service that will improve how I write my posts, it would be better if when I visit your blog there are some people commenting or retweeting your content…
If you look like you need the product more than your prospect, you probably won’t be closing that sale…
5. Can you be any less human?
I am a terrible sales person even tough I’m aware of its importance, I think the only way I get away with it is because I truly try to be as human as possible. Believe or not, if you leave the strategy and the sales technique aside and you focus on putting a smile on your client’s face, that will do.
I won’t make any comments about the “but” and the “seriously” in this particular email because that is just from another planet.
In other words…
If you don’t have the marketing background or the sales techniques, having some heart and a whole lot of Common Sense can take you a long way.