majority salespeople I know prefer the phone to e-mail. E-mail they say is too time consuming,
and too vague and open-ended (even if it’s well written). They would much rather pick up the
phone and breeze through the verbal back-and-forth than be bogged down with the
written word. The back-and-forth
of emails curbs the speed of business. However, a lot of people are e-mail people and
there’s no getting around that, not in today’s business world.
all Phone People: You need to
adjust to today’s workplace where e-mail is the reigning champ. The rotary phone days are dead and gone. (Why do some companies still have voice messaging
systems that say, “If you are using a rotary phone please hold.” Who out there is using a rotary
more and more people are shying away from the phone and using e-mail to conduct
business. But there’s a proper way
to use e-mail and there are traps you want to avoid.
his new book “Winning Sales Letters—From Prospect to Close” Ralph Allora
writes, “E-mail should never be used as a stand-alone communication
method. E-mail is best put to
strategic use as a clarification device or as a follow-up to phone or
E-mail should always advance the sales process, whether you’re setting
up appointments, finding the right decision maker via a reference,
following up after a meeting, or asking for the deal.
the Right Decision Maker Via Reference
the decision maker is not a lay up.
There are a lot of people who will tell you that they make the final decision
until you realize, most likely when you’re asking for the sale, that they
don’t. The sooner you find
out who signs the contract the better.
Pete, who would ultimately be signing off on this?”
Jones the VP of Sales would be making the final call.”
“Great. Do you have his number?”
can’t give out his number but I can give you his e-mail.” (You’ll hear this more and more.)
sending an introductory e-mail to Jim (decision maker) be sure to praise the
reference (Pete). Allora writes
that you “want to make him (the reference) look good, and you want to show the big boss that
you’re following proper protocol.”
always put the reference in the subject of the e-mail, that helps grab a busy
executive’s attention and gives him pause when he’s about to hit the delete
Mongillo, XYZ Company (ref. Pete Smith).”
for the Sale
you’re using e-mail properly—strategically—then you’ll soon find that the
steps you’ve taken—the follow-ups, all the answers to the prospects’ questions,
etc.—are leading to the deal. Now
is the time to ask (this is email remember, watch your diction!) for the sale.
writes, “E-mails are essential for establishing a record of what’s been agreed
to and what is still up for discussion.
And if these messages are written effectively, they can strengthen your
position in subtle but important ways.”
questions can be used effectively in e-mail. Don’t give the prospect a simple easy way out with yes or no
on your review,” Allora writes in one of his examples, “of the full offer sheet,
where do we stand in terms or gaining an agreement in principle? If you have any questions at all I’m
here to help.”
not a yes or no question, that’s a deal-asking question.
your e-mails short and make sure they’re strategically moving the sales process
forward right up until closing time.
For more about “Writing For Each Sales Stage” please check out Ralph
Allora’s book “Winning Sales Letters—From Prospect to Close.”