I’m sure I’ve written about this before, or maybe just grumbled about it to myself, but I think it’s good to bring up again, especially since it’s a fresh new year and businesses are actively looking for new clients and starting new projects.
I get a lot of emails every day. A LOT. And of course, when you run a business, you get extra emails from other businesses, offering their services. I’m okay with that, because sometimes I need something, and voila – an email in my mailbox helps me out.
I think it’s important for businesses to communicate and share with each other. But…if you’re going to communicate, you have to communicate well. Business to business communication is so critical, yet I see so many businesses in my In Box making mistakes. No – not mistakes – sales breakers. Those things that, the moment I see, I immediately hit DELETE without another thought.
Years ago, I was walking through the office of a company I worked for, past the front secretary. She had handed a stack of resumes (this was back in the day when you used to print and mail your resume) to one of the VPs since he was hiring a new assistant. She had just opened them and he stood there, sorting them one by one: Actually Read or Trash Bin.
He wasn’t even reading the content yet – just sizing up the person based on a one second glance. Silly font? Trash. Pink stationery? Trash. I was miffed that he didn’t even bother to read those – maybe those people were perfect for the job. But, now I see what he was getting at. They were painting portraits of themselves that were not in alignment to what he needed – and fonts and styles and paper all mattered even before content.
This carries over to businesses and how they send out sales breakers every day. Here are my top three sale breakers that I see over and over again.
You have spelling and grammar errors. I know this seems petty, but it’s not. If you’re sending me an email asking me to engage with your business, you really need to know how to spell, and you really, really need to know how to form proper sentences. Proper spelling and grammar are the basic tools for communication. If you don’t have that, what do you have? And I’m not talking about typos. Typos happen all the time when you’re emailing people back and forth. But businesses that are sending a standard email script should never have any spelling or grammar errors.
You don’t know my business. I own a virtual assistant company. If you email me and offer me virtual assistant help, that makes me feel like you have just gotten my email address from a list and I am one of a thousand people you’re spamming today. It’s that shotgun approach – the buckshot spray is bound to hit something that might be useful to you. Of course, you’re also hitting more that isn’t useful. And when you do that, you look bad to those people.
You lie. This one doesn’t come as often as the other two, but it’s there. Your email might tell me that you attended an event that I was at. Or perhaps a “friend” recommended they get in touch with me. Even better, they say they found me, reviewed my website, and wanted to reach out. (Typically this lie is followed up with Breaker #2 – you never browsed my website because if you did, you’d know that I do not need the technology services you’re selling.)
Reach out to businesses and do it well. We all talk about nurturing relationships and leads. The best way to do it is intelligently and honestly.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.