What NOT to Write to a Client - Short Attention Span Sales Tip
“Just so we are clear...”
Five words into the email and without reading another thing, what emotions rise to the top? Again, this is how the email started and you got nothing else to go on. I’m wondering if you had the same reaction that I did: “Why is this person so angry with me?”
Now, imagine receiving a phone call and just after someone says hello comes those same five words: “Just so we are clear...” Can you see how differently they would be received? Now, you have the advantage of tone and inflection and timing and volume and you can do a much better job of gauging the meaning behind the words.
That’s the first point of this sales tip: Be very careful what you put into writing as it can be misinterpreted very, very easily. My reaction went directly to the negative and I wondered to myself if this person, someone I was just starting to coach, was going to be unreceptive.
The second point to be made here is this: Don’t react right away. In this case, I chose to reply in the positive and make the assumption that I was reading between the lines. For if I had sent a message back containing the thoughts I was having, something like “Why the attitude? Are you opposed to receiving my help?” this, too could be misinterpreted on her end. So, I kept my thoughts to myself and waited for our scheduled call to learn more.
As it turned out, she was simply frustrated with her lack of success and it had nothing to do with me. In fact, she was anxious to receive any help I could give her. My first assumption was completely wrong and I was glad that I did not go with my first instinct.
As a rule, the written word is far more powerful than the spoken word. Keep that in mind as you are sending out missives to customers and prospects and fellow employees. Also, remember that you can always get angry later. So why not make a positive assumption? You’ve got nothing to lose but lots to gain.
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