For those of us who have been in sales for longer than a decade, it’s easy to sometimes long for the days when customers waited until they met you (or conducted several phone calls with you) to decide whether they liked you. Back then, we had more control over how prospects perceived us. A firm handshake or warm smile went a long way toward building a strong customer relationship.
Today, we don’t have that luxury. In fact, many customers now assess a salesperson’s likability, knowledge, and authenticity based purely on electronic interactions and that person’s digital presence. Whether it’s how you phrase your emails, what you share in LinkedIn Groups, or which messages you retweet on Twitter, people – customers, prospects, support staff, etc. – observe how you communicate and monitor what you say. And because people buy from people they like, that means your digital presence needs to be as warm and authentic as your real-world persona.
With that in mind, there are six specific email “personalities” salespeople should avoid if they hope to get customers to like (and, ultimately, buy from) them:
3) Dr. No: We’re all busy, but this salesperson has perfected the art of saying “no.” This cold tendency is generally directed more at this person’s network or co-workers, but Dr. No rarely makes him or herself available for sales ride-along’s, peer coaching or speaking engagements because they’re too focused on their own priorities.
5) Corey Cold Fish: In an attempt to avoid writing something he’ll regret, Mr. Cold Fish chooses to compose robotic emails, often with underlined headings and bulleted lists. Those messages aren’t just boring, they also make it hard for prospects to tell if there’s really a human behind the email address.
The key takeaway here is that people buy from people they like. So, be real. Personalize your emails. Be warm and friendly. Help an old prospect out. And always be cognizant of how someone might interpret your messages. While you might understand the context of your tone, it’s not always clear on the other end of the line.