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Stop Emailing to Grow Your Sales

February 6th, 2020

Email is a wonderful tool.   Most of us couldn’t survive without it.

Unfortunately, many (and perhaps most) people who sell use email (and other forms of digital messaging) incorrectly when pursuing sales.  I’m not talking about Marketing here; I’m talking about Growing Sales.

Email makes salespeople vulnerable to all sorts of ambiguity and assumptions, two of the biggest killers of sales growth.  Used improperly, email will cut immensely into your profit.

Most salespeople…:

  • Tend to be optimists.

  • Do not like to ask challenging or difficult questions.

  • Are not skilled listeners.

  • Make way too many assumptions.

  • Live in hope.

  • Spend much more time talking than learning.

  • Fear any form of rejection

  • Would prefer to present, demonstrate, and propose instead of listening, probing, learning, and understanding.  In other words, most salespeople do not like to sell.

Consequently, many salespeople choose to communicate via computer or digital device versus speaking with a prospect.   Many sellers actually tell themselves that an email is a substitute for a conversation.  It absolutely isn’t.  

When hearing a buyer’s response that is not crystal clear, many sellers prefer NOT to challenge or gain clarity.   Email provides a buffer layer, forming a safety barrier to prevent us from hearing something we may not wish to hear, protect our egos from damage.  But effective salespeople understand that courage is a core competency, so they power through their fears. 

Some salespeople believe that sending emails saves time.   Maybe so, but it will also cost you sales.  Tons of them.  Here’s why…

If you don’t happen to be in the 0.5% of companies that either have an incredible price advantage, or a product or service that is spectacularly unique, you have serious competition.  We also know that most buyers do not trust salespeople, and that very few buyers are completely open and honest in sharing their needs, thoughts, fears, issues, preferences, budgets, and more.  Getting to the truth requires breaking down barriers, and rigorous discovery.

When operating in this type of competitive, ambiguous environment, your salespeople must be able to differentiate themselves.  The less they learn and the more assumptions they make, the quicker they will eliminate themselves from consideration.  A Most Valuable Salesperson needs to bond better and stand out with prospects, and they need to listen, probe, and understand more than their competitors.   Superior salespeople connect at a much deeper level and develop more trust with prospects, and they make the process of buying feel more enjoyable than the others.  This can never be accomplished via email or text.  It all requires live conversations, active listening and consultative interactions.  Using email in place of conversations actually prevents differentiation, tending to commoditize any salesperson who relies heavily upon it.

Written communication does not allow for listening, empathy, follow up questions, nuance, reading of body language/tonality, deep personal connection, bonding, rapport, or pain discovery.

Email can be an essential part of communication for selling, but only when used correctly.   Effective uses of email include confirming previous conversations to ensure clarity, confirming appointments, and sending essential documents.   All other sales activities should involve conversations.  

Most salespeople use email as a crutch.  Instead of using it effectively, weak salespeople use email as a replacement.   They email so they can avoid directly hearing “bad news” or rejection.  They use it so they can avoid difficult conversations, so they can hear selectively and believe the best, instead of learning the truth.  They use it to avoid having to ask tough or challenging questions.  They use it so they can make happy assumptions and live in hope.  They use it so they may interpret ambiguity in a way that it becomes “good news”.  They use it so they may remain optimistic.  They use email to feel less vulnerable.

In other words, they use it in place of growing sales.

If you or your salespeople have fallen victim to destructive email behavior, and you’re ready to break out and grow your sales, you can begin by setting a goal this month to send half as many emails and replace each with an effective, consultative conversation of trust and discovery. 

Hope this helps…




Copyright © Joe Zente 2020.  All Rights Reserved.