Are Your Sales Messages Insulting?

in Sales Recommendations (presentations), Unique Value Proposition

In my Smart Calling training programs with clients and sales reps we invest a lot of time ensuring that our messaging is laser-focused on the recipient and his/her world.

That is the only way to carve through the ever-growing glut of noise we are bombarded with by the minute.

And that’s probably why I am more sensitive to the lousy messages I receive via email, voice mail, snail mail, and live when I pick up the phone (Yes I do answer my own phone and the calls are not screened.)

Not only are many just flat-out bad and lacking of any shred of possible value, some are insulting.

It’s bad enough to send an off-target message with nothing of value, it’s compounded with assumptions and statements that are wrong and piss off the receiver.

Just yesterday I received an email with the subject line

“Letting down your fans is one of the worst feelings in the world.”

First, let me explain that I use SpamArrest, which means that for an unsolicited prospecting email to get to my inbox a human must physically reply to an automated message after they send their initial email.

Also, to note, when you have 50,000 subscribers, and have written millions of words over the years, it’s not unusual to receive all kinds of messages, some flattering, others not so much. Some have been from crazy people. Really. I have stories.

Anyway, I wasn’t sure what to make of that subject line, so I opened it. I thought someone wasn’t happy with me. Again.

It quickly became clear that it was a prospecting email from a CD duplication company.

To the guy’s credit, it was a fairly well-written, brief email that told a story, talking about popular performers whom their audiences loved but they had no CD’s, therefore disappointing their fans who wanted more.

He compared them to speakers and trainers who had no CD’s. Fair point.

Except that I found it insulting.

Because the message suggested I, personally, had no CD’s and therefore was disappointing my fans.

I do have, and have had hundreds of CD’s–and before that cassette tapes–for 30 years. It’s not that tough to discover that on my site or with a quick search.

Now you might cut the guy some slack and say that he was just doing marketing and doesn’t have the time to go to everyone’s site before he sends his mass email.

Perhaps. Except, remember that someone had to physically reply to the response email before his could reach me.

And, another thing… here was the PS at the end of his email:

“P.S. I do my best to only send very targeted emails to people who I think will benefit from them…”

Please. What does “very targeted” mean?

Let me preempt anyone who feels compelled to write and tell me to chill, that it’s not that big of a deal and I shouldn’t get all worked up about it. (Yeah, I get those responses too. Ironic that some people get so worked up about that themselves enough to send a message.) Chill yourself. I’m actually glad I received it… it gave me great material to write about. And after deleting it, had I not written about it, I never would have thought about it again.

And that’s my point for you.

If in your opening communications, in attempts to get attention and interest, and hopefully a conversation, you even border on insulting someone by having a message that is not only blatantly off-target and devoid of value, but also insinuates something that is patently wrong, you expedite the banishment of your message, and any chance of ever having a conversation with your prospect.

This includes:

-Making declarative blanket statements: “We WILL get you to the first page on Google.”
What if we are already there for the keywords that are most important?

-Making obvious, inane salesy statements or claims: “Of course if you could find a way to make another five hundred dollars per day you would want that.”
Not if it costs me more than that, by whatever means I use to figure cost.

-And, like this guy, making a false statement that shows ignorance… a lack of knowledge about the prospect: “You are losing money every day on your credit card processing. “
Really?  You don’t know that. What if I am an expert in that area and very carefully selected my vendor?

Want to get through to more decision makers?

Want your emails and voice mails to stand out from the crap?

Want to get people to view you as someone who might have something worth hearing?

Here’s the secret. Ready?

Do your research.

Put what YOU want, and think about regarding your product/service aside.

Focus your message on one person.

Make it all about them, what’s going on in their world, and the results they might get.

That’s some high-level, advanced high-tech advice, isn’t it.

No.

Just common sense advice that works.

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