Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Leveraging email for better selling -10 ideas to email better

I have just completed another PRO -Payback Selling in Action Programme for TACK  in London in the great facilities of  De Vere West One opposite  the BBC's Broadcasting House.

Delegates who come on  this programme are the courageous ones - because they know they have to role play a client meeting and their role play is videoed.

Of course coaching on this type of programme requires a gentle touch. For sure it is helpful to suggest development points to delegates selling skills but equally ( or perhaps more so) their strengths and talents -  and it is important to encourage them to further build on these strengths.

In the post course feedback one delegate even remarked of the sessions that were most of use to him was " Role play - the part I feared the most but gained more than I expected" another wrote " Role play- feedback on how I am portrayed".

As well as practical face to face skills, we also worked on  a session on the practical application of email in Selling.

As an exercise after the delegates had completed their simulated sales meeting which we had video recorded for them, I asked them to send a follow up email  to me as if I was their client.

It's an interesting exercise since they had a chance to not only practise their email writing skills but also to see the results from the Buyer's point of view because I projected their emails on the screen.

The first thing one gains from this exercise is to realise that our email is of course amongst a mass of others in the Buyer's  in box- so it is important to consider what to put in the Subject box.

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What should we as Salespeople put in the subject box  for our Buyer's email in box?

Hugh Alford,(TACK International) Mark O'Driscoll ( Sauer Danfoss), Darren Hack ( Phoenix Contact) Mike Farrell ( Sauer Danfoss) James Sainsbury (Latchways PLC) Sonny Moore  and Tim Davies ( David Harber) held at De Vere's West One Conference Venue  -  TACK's PRO_PAYBACK_Selling_In_Action

The group worked on  how to make best use of emails before, during and after the sale.

We drew up some guidelines, and considered aspects such as content, style and design of sales emails.

Firstly we discussed the dangers of emails !

It is worth remembering that a sales e-mail is an uncontrollable and indestructible record.

 Computer experts can retrieve even after someone has seemingly deleted it. Even if you’ve marked a sales email ‘private and confidential’ apparently it can be used in evidence in court proceedings. With the machinations of the Leverson Enquiry into phone hacking by the British press, investigation into the electronic paper trail has been key in the evidence submitted to the enquiry.
Here are common ideas on designing and writing better emails for Sales
1.      Be professional - Avoid colloquial and chatty style that you may use in your personal emails for business emails.
2.      Be accurate, be factual .
3.      Avoid acronyms , jargon and ‘text speak'.

4. Do not give (unsolicited) opinions or take positions about desirable actions which could be construed as best advice by your client ( or their lawyers!) if they are not offered as best practise .
Some thoughts on how to use email
 in client meeting follow ups
    5. Spell check  and Read before sending.
     6. Put a disclaimer at bottom of page.

       7. Don’t send a thread  of emails unless the trail is useful to the client. For a long email warn ahead “Big one coming!”. Maybe consider sending the body of the information in an attachment.
       8. Confirm a telephone appointment immediately with Outlook diary acceptance protocol.

Some thoughts on how to use email
for sales prospecting
9.  Put something meaningful and specific in Subject box for convenience of you and your client and their team colleagues ( PAs )   finding and filing e.g. Project specific, Contact and Company Name, Date.
10.  Give yourself additional time to read back what you have written one more time and consider its possible future implications before hitting the “send” button. Don’t send an email in anger.

Some further suggestions on content and style of sales emails - Some dos and don'ts:-
Some thoughts in using email for
 'keeping in touch' and e marketing

· If you would not say it in a letter or memo, do not say it in an e-mail.

· If you would not like to be asked about it in a court of law, do not say it in an e-mail.
· If you would not want your boss to be asked about it in a court of law, do not say it in an e-mail.
· Do not “reply to all” unless absolutely necessary
· Do not forward an e-mail unless you want the recipient to see all the correspondence in that particular chain of emails.
· Do not forward legal or commercial advice without the consent of the person that provided that advice.

Like rehearsing the craft of face to face selling skills, it's worth examining and practicing our email writing skills to clients also.

Related Links
TACK International's  PRO_PAYBACK_Selling_In_Action


  1. love the description, exc blog, Just love it! Congrats

  2. Great ideas and information. It do helps me a lot.

    IM archiving