HOW NOT TO SELLI recently received the most impersonal sales email that I’ve ever read. It basically said, “Hi.  Here’s my product. Want to buy some?” To set the stage, this isn’t my first contact with this person. We have had several contacts with great communication.  I can only assume (it’s never safe to assume but for the sake of this illustration, I’m going to make some assumptions) that because we already had a friendly rapport, this person thought it was O.K. to skip the pleasantries part of the dialog. BIG MISTAKE! If we agree with the notion that people buy from those they know, like and trust, let me illustrate how this one email undermined all three of these factors in our relationship.

KNOW: The know factor was previously established and remained intact.  Although, I am now questioning just how well I really know this person.

LIKE: While most people like to buy, they don’t like being sold to. The entire three-sentence email was all about the sale. The like factor in this instance went down considerably.

TRUST:  I no longer trust that this person cares about me as an individual. The perception I received from the email was that they only cared about the sale. (Here are those assumptions again but without any additional content or conversation, it was a logical conclusion.)  By the way, your customers or potential customers are making their own assumptions with every email you send.  With impersonal sales tactics like this I was forced to ask myself, why would I continue to buy from or refer others to buy from a person who doesn’t seem to care about me as a person?  If you’re sending the same type of emails, it’s safe to assume that your customers are making the same type of assumptions about you.

The moment you forget that sales is more about customer connection is the moment that your sales drop. (tweet this) This person doesn’t know it but they lost sales that day.  It was a product that I would have generally bought and will continue to buy… elsewhere. To some that may seem a bit dramatic but I assure you that I work hard for my money. I believe that others should earn the right to receive it. While this incident did thoroughly annoy me, I hope that you read this as a learning opportunity rather than a rant.  Remember that EVERY piece of correspondence you send should be customer focused, not sales focused.

Ammie’s Assignment:  Perform a sanity check on your very next email. Before you hit the send button, re-read the email. Does it address the customer’s needs and how you’ll meet them, and not simply inform of a product?