Whether you’ve considered it or not, everything you send to a prospect communicates your value—or non-value, and your trustworthiness. Everything you send. No matter how small.
Most salespeople will put their long-term prospects into a database and keep in touch with them on a semi-regular basis. They’ll send a monthly or quarterly newsletter, a “What’s up? Ya ready to buy yet?” e-mail or letter on occasion, and make a phone call once in a blue moon. On the other hand, some will inundate the prospect with so much junk mail and e-mail the prospect wonders how to get rid of them.
Either way, the prospect is learning a great deal about the salesperson. The question is what are they learning?
You Aren’t Reliable:
Reliability is a major trust factor and what you send and when you send materials to your prospects will communicate to some extent whether or not you are reliable. If you promise to send information, do you send exactly what you promised when you promised? If not, why should a prospect trust you?
Do you send a monthly or quarterly newsletter? Is it on time, every time? If the date on your newsletter is May and it arrives in June because you were too busy to get it out, what message does that send? Think people won’t notice? I received the Jan/Feb newsletter from an interior decorator—the first in April. Is that how she handles all of her commitments?
You Don’t Value My Time
Are the items you send of real value to the prospect? If it isn’t of value, why do you send it?
What can you send of value? Articles relating to the area you address; special offers; new services and/or products; major company news; and other pertinent information. All of these items are likely to be of interest to a majority of your prospects.
The key is not wasting your prospect’s time. Of course, not everything you send is going to be of interest to every one of your prospects. But if your information is good, all of your prospects will find value in your communications—just not every prospect for every communication.
But if you fail to bring substance, you’re prospect begins to feel that all you’re really doing is wasting their time. Consequently, they don’t need you or have time for you.
You Don’t Know Your Business
Sending out-dated or erroneous information also will be noticed by many prospects. If you fail to review and carefully examine your information to make sure that it is up-to-date and accurate, you run a serious risk of convincing your prospect that you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.
The articles you send, whether written by you or others, must contain current, accurate and trustworthy information. Never assume that yours is the only information the prospect is receiving about your subject. Your object is to inform, not confuse. Your goal is to impress, not show your ignorance or laziness. Errors are especially easy to miss when dealing with statistics and factual matters of record.
In addition to sloppy work, overstatements and exaggerations are another red flag for prospects. It is perfectly permissible to make strong statements about your products and services as long as you are not the author of those statements and you can identify for your prospects exactly who made the claims about your product or service. If you use superlatives, they cannot be from you and you must fully identify the person who made them—meaning they can be checked out.
Examine your prospect communications in light of these three most mistakes. Don’t allow yourself to lose credibility while trying to build credibility. What you send is just as important as what you say.