The Art of the E-Mail Sale

When the phone line is exhausted and there are no minutes left for meetings, can the written word really tow you across the closing line? The answer is yes. With an E-Mail you have a chance to say something to a potential client with no immediate rebuttal and this is a golden opportunity to persuade […]

When the phone line is exhausted and there are no minutes left for meetings, can the written word really tow you across the closing line? The answer is yes. With an E-Mail you have a chance to say something to a potential client with no immediate rebuttal and this is a golden opportunity to persuade but with subtlety. A combination of psychology and serious salesmanship plus a clever use of words is what it takes for a message to massage the recipient to say yes.

For the sake of clarity, the following tips are not for a cold e-mail but one that is sent during the latter stages of a potential sale:

  1. Know Your Client

You should already be familiar with the person you are about to write to, you should have ascertained mental and real notes about the status of the situation – what are their gain points and pain points, their objections and objectives, their favourite sports team and their cousin’s father-in-law’s sister’s birthday. Everything – well, as much as possible.

Purchases are made on emotion first and logic second. By illustrating your care and concern for the person’s life with a simple sentence or a delicate ‘P.S.’ you are tugging on the heart strings as well as the purse. By knowing your client you should know what kind of tone to adopt in the e-mail as well as what information is going to be key, you should be able to communicate on their level while coercing them to a mutually beneficial decision.

  1. Balancing Informality With Professionalism

Nobody wants to reason with a robot nor negotiate with a Neanderthal – you should figure out a way to strike a neutral point between being personable and professional. Your judgment should also take into consideration the seniority of the person you are speaking with and the type of tone that they would respect.

Even if you have become extremely friendly with the person, it’s important to have a healthy dose of firm professionalism to keep the power of the conversation in your side of the court. You want to control the negotiations rather than be a passenger, so in the e-mail you should have pre-close statements and words which create urgency. This should let them know that while you are a nice genuine human being, you also have business to conduct and this should be respected.

  1. Forget the Lights and The Cameras, Just Action

Make sure the body of the e-mail is short and sweet but the ‘actions to be taken’ are clear and bold. Do not hit send unless there are a bullet points of things which must be done as a result of this e-mail by either party. Leaving a message empty of calls to action is like playing football without goals – you’ll be passing all day long until someone gets tired and departs.

It is important that you are not afraid to set out the objectives of your E-Mail and politely hold the recipient accountable to them. Whether there’s a brochure they need to read or a contract they need to sign, you be sure to let them know that it is their responsibility to complete that task. By being firm you will garner their respect and their integrity will be on the line if they do not adhere to the agreement.

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