We’re living in some challenging times and in order to stay in the game, companies and individuals are coming up with really impressive, out of the box selling ideas, in the hope that these would save them from drowning.

I’m a salesperson too, or at least, trying to become one, but for some reason, when it comes to sales, my creativity hits the bottom limit. What works for me instead are the good old methods, combined with product knowledge and consistency.

I have recently read a very insightful book by Patrick J. McGinnis, called The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job. I was amazed by the number of valuable advice that I’ve got about how to discover new opportunities and sharpen my skills in managing a side-business. If you’re a side-hustler too, give it a try.

But let’s get back to the point.

Communication is an essential part of the sales process, and if your first pitching attempt sucks, you might never get that reply. In times of crisis, I’m sure many of us have gotten back to the good old cold-emails, I did too. Towards the end of the book, McGinnis provides a list of tips on how to write an email the right way, an email that works. I thought I was quite good at initiating an e-conversation, but when I applied the tips taken from the book into a new email and compared it to the old emails I wrote, I noticed that I did have quite some space for improvements.

Whether you’re cold-messaging or reconnecting with an old friend or colleague, there are some basics points of etiquette and common sense that apply. Many people get dozens if not hundreds of emails a day and they don’t want to read a note that has no point or no value. When you’re drafting an e-mail, make sure that you follow these guidelines:

  • Use your personal email
  • Be cordial and succinct
  • Personalize the text
  • Never send a form letter
  • Highlight any shared points of interest or mutual contacts
  • Make a specific request – no one wants to trade endless messages
  • Offer to help with anything they might need in return
  • Always say please and thank you
  • Follow up on outstanding items
  • Be responsive
  • Stay in touch and share news of future developments

Now if you feel that these tips are useful, go ahead and apply them into your day to day emailing routine, I’d be happy to know if that prospect of yours has finally replied.

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