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computerFirst off, let’s get this straight. Email is neither the primary way to make sales nor the best way.

Treat email as one of the tools you have to communicate with a prospect/customer.   Too many salespeople think they can use email exclusively to generate sales.  For these people, I have two words: lazy and lousy.  I’ll stop my rant regarding that now.

While email isn’t an exclusive tool, it is a great tool to follow up with a prospect after you’ve met them.  Key is to engage them, not just inform them.   If all you’re doing is emailing them some more information, then you haven’t gone far enough to demonstrate why you’re different.

Start your email by following up with a question/response to something the customer brought up during the meeting.   The value of this is two-fold.

First, it demonstrates you were listening to what they had to say and you find value in it.  Second, it allows you to engage the customer, because you’re now sharing with them a question or comment about something that interests them.

Don’t think your response has to be long. In fact, you’re better off keeping it short.  The reason short responses work better is they’re more likely to read it and, at the same time, appreciate you for not sending them a thesis.

  • Use the subject line to engage them by having it reference a question they asked.
  • Use the first 100 characters of your response to hook them with a couple of key words that will encourage them to read more.

The reason I emphasize the subject line and first 100 characters is the recipient is likely going to read your email on a smartphone.  This means the person is going to see the first few words and then make a decision to open and read more or delete.

Use email as a tool to engage and separate yourself from your competition. Don’t use it as a data dump that winds up doing nothing but turning off the prospect.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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