* Are you sending emails to prospects instead of calling them?
* Is e-mail your selling medium of choice because it lets you avoid the rejection that you dread when you make real cold calls?
* Do you wait and wait for return emails from prospects that will give you the green light to move the sales process forward?
Sad but true, these days most people who sell for a living spend 80% of their time trying to communicate with prospects via email instead of actually picking up the phone and speaking with them. Are you one of those people? If so, you aren’t alone…but do you understand why you’ve turned to e-mail instead of personal contact? I think there are 2 core reasons that underlie this unfortunate trend:
* Fear of rejection. The sheer negative force of anticipating rejection makes people turn to email to generate new prospect relationships because it hurts less to not get a reply than to hear that verbal “no.”
* Getting blocked by gatekeepers and voicemail. When salespeople don’t know how to break through the barriers of gatekeepers and voicemail, they start thinking, “Forget it — it’s not worth the aggravation, and it takes too much energy. I’ll just e-mail instead.”
We all know how much everyone hates email spam, but even so, many salespeople are still sending introductory e-mails to decisionmakers. They feel that, because they’re from a credible organization, they won’t be associated with the negative image of a spam solicitor.
If you’re still using email to sell, watch out for these 7 pitfalls:
1. Avoid sales pitches. If you feel you must use e-mail to start a new relationship, make your message about issues and problems that you believe your prospects are having, but don’t say anything to indicate that you’re assuming that both of you are a match.
2. Stop thinking that e-mail is the best way to get to decisionmakers. Traditional selling has become so ineffective that salespeople have run out of options for creating conversation, both over the phone and in person. However, it’s best to view e-mail as a backup option only, not as a way to create new relationships. Try to use it primarily for sending information and documents after you’ve developeda relationship with a prospect.
4. Stop conditioning your prospects to hide behind e-mail. When you e-mail prospects, it’s easy for them to avoid you by not responding. Also, they get used to never picking up the phone and having a conversation with you — and they may want to avoid you because they’re afraid that, if they show interest in what you have to offer, you’ll try to close them. This creates sales pressure — the root of all selling woes. This avoidance becomes a vicious circle. If you learn to create pressure-free conversations, you’ll find that you’ll start getting phone calls from prospects who aren’t afraid to call you.
5. Avoid using e-mail as a crutch for handling sticky sales situations. Are prospects not calling you back? Many salespeople who call me for coaching ask how they can get themselves out of sticky situations with prospects — but the e-mails they’ve sent have already triggered those prospects to retreat. It’s tricky to come up with the correct softening language in an e-mail that will re-open a conversation with a prospect who has decided to close off communication – direct, person-to-person phone calls or meetings are much easier and more human.
7. If you can, stop using e-mail selling altogether. There is a way to renew your confidence and eliminate your reluctance to picking up the phone and have pleasant conversations with potential prospects. Learn a completely new way of working with gatekeepers that will get you past voicemail and to your decisionmakers without the rejection and frustration that are inevitable with traditional selling approaches.
For all these reasons, you should think of e-mail as your last resort. If you can learn to pick up the phone without fear, start a trusting conversation with a gatekeeper, learn how to go beyond voice mail and find your decisionmakers, you’ll join the thousands of people who have made the breakthrough to the most natural and efficient way of generating sales opportunities.
With a Masters Degree in Instructional Design and over a decade of experience creating breakthrough sales strategies for global companies such as UPS and QUALCOMM, Ari Galper discovered the missing link that people who sell have been seeking for years. His profound discovery of shifting one’s mindset to a place of complete integrity, based on new words and phrases grounded in sincerity, has earned him distinction as the world’s leading authority on how to build trust in the world of selling. Leading companies such as Gateway, Clear Channel Communications, Brother International and Fidelity National Mortgage have called on Ari to keep them on the leading edge of sales performance. Visit http://www.unlockthegame.com/ to get his free sales training lessons.