Make your new sales a superpower - Get responses, offer value and be real
Posted: 29 October 2014When it comes to the traditional notion of sales, one word can sum it all up - bombardment. From the pure mass of emails that burden your inbox to the aggressive messaging and fake familiarity, sales emails can represent everything that gives sales a bad name. We've all been flooded with insufferable propositions and badly-written correspondence that do nothing to prompt action, let alone build relationships.
The good news is that the good apples are winning over the bad eggs. Sales is getting back to its roots and modern practitioners are favouring human relationships over soulless statistics. This new breed is creating a new salesperson persona. They;
- Put solutions and situations above products and services.
- Are helpful and valuable, not a vague and faceless bully.
- Take time to get to grips with needs and readers.
- Simply care more. Build relationships rather than line pockets with quick fixes.
So what have these new kids on the sales block got that the old dogs don’t - empathy. It’s a skill, a uniquely powerful one that combines good content and savvy psychology. If you want to create sales emails that can urge responses and build trust, get empathetic and apply some new tactics to your sales game.
Putting yourself in other people’s shoes - Epitome of empathy.
The likes of social proof and consumer science has brought about a whole new way of understanding the sales process. An empathic view can help you anticipate how your big sell will be received - usually badly. The issue is too many sales people go in all guns blazing, where’s the love and understanding? Blasting your customer with generic messages is your first mistake. When it comes to empathy, focus on two things - needs and the personal touch.
- Research your recipients first - What are their needs? Do they need what you’re offering? Who in the company is likely to respond to your email? Where have they been and where are they headed, can you help them be better? Take time to really get to grips with how you can help. Selling them products or services isn’t the same as helping, work hard to establish a context and uncover a need that you can realistically fulfill.
- Name dropping isn’t being personal. So many sales forces think scattering the recipient's name throughout an email ticks this box. It won’t. Audiences are savvy and know that cheap tricks like this are exactly that, tricks. Don’t be lazy or tight with your time. Who are the recipient? What’s their work history? What companies have they worked with? Use the likes of LinkedIn and social scouring to get a good overall understanding of the company as a whole and the individuals within it that you’re targeting.
Be valuable in more ways than one.
You want their money, they don’t yet want your product. This is a bit of an unfair balance in favour of the seller. Before you go in hard with the pitch, offer up something of true value. This is all about being empathetic to your recipient's professional needs and struggles. What can make their job or life easier? The answer to that questions shouldn’t always be your product.
Give away some free resources. Be a source of thought leadership, a trusted contact that isn’t just out to fill a quota. Offer up the likes of a recent How to blogs or industry whitepaper/ e-books. This is your introduction to the company, something you only get one chance to nail. Remember you’re building a relationship here so even the scales here you fall into sales mode.
Invest in quality content.
We all sniff out the fakery in a sales email. Personalisation isn’t “We understand you” or “So sorry for the inconvenience”. Empathy is about being on the level and taking to a person, not a purse. Content is the best vehicle for establishing a mutual respect and bond. Pace, tone, enticing subject lines and ending on a signature are all things to be on your content to-do list.
- Move away from a signature script and address your recipient authentically.
- Adopt an informal tone. This ensures readers see you as a person rather than a sales machine.
- Mention your recipient’s name in more the opening line. Use their name naturally as you would in a conversation and pop in ‘you’ and ‘your’ frequently.
- Don’t go in with the big pitch straight off the bat. People will delete the email before getting to the body copy. Familiarity first, selling second.
- Make the copy concise and only provide one call to action. Long winded emails bore and confuse the big message.
Empathy keeps relationships oiled and nourished. It’s a currency that breeds trust and breaks down the walls that customers and audiences have created. Being empathetic is human, it opens dialogues and disciplines up so they consider both parties and their value. Sales should be about offering email recipients a solution and understanding of their unique solution, rather than simply bullying them into a product or service.
Success doesn’t come from shouting louder or pushing harder. Audiences respond to a helping hand and valuable resource - be both. Sales needs to start playing the long game, it has to realise that you don’t get something for nothing. Give your email recipients something to listen to, a communicative experience that is about enriching their life right now.
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Try tweeting these snippets.
- (Tweet This) Practitioners are favouring human relationships over soulless statistics.
- (Tweet This) An empathic view can help you anticipate how your big sell will be received.
- (Tweet This) When it comes to empathy, focus on two things - needs and the personal touch.
- (Tweet This) Before you go in hard with the pitch, offer up something of true value.
- (Tweet This) Be a source of thought leadership, a trusted contact that isn’t just out to fill a quota.
- (Tweet This) Empathy is about being on the level and taking to a person, not a purse.