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March 2013

A New Way to Think about Customer Manipulation

Many books, blogs, and online sales videos suggest a non-manipulative, synergistic, consultative approach to uncovering a prospect's needs. These resources all advance the idea that manipulative selling is a thing of the past. But is it?

The word manipulation has many meanings. Its definitions range from "artful skill" to "to change accounts to suit one's purpose." Today, we seem to give the word one meaning: to make someone do what we want him to do against his will or better judgment. Of course, this is counterproductive in any selling situation. But does this mean that manipulation should not have a place in selling at all? Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging; it is the skin of a living thought that may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances in which it is used."

Words are the tools of the selling trade, and their meanings change according to the circumstances in which they are used. Tone of voice, facial expressions, emphasis, and emotion are all in play when a salesperson uses any series of words. How we say something is often more important than what we say.

Consider this simple question: "What is it that you would like to think about?" Read it aloud three times, each time emphasizing different words -- "what," "is it," "you." Can you hear and feel the different meanings when you change the emphasis from one word to another? What impact would those changes have on your customer? Selling superstars can deliver the same sentence 10 different ways, depending on the customer and situation. They manipulate language in a way that harmonizes with the customer. But they never manipulate the customer!

Manipulating customers only antagonizes them. But manipulating yourself to suit the situation will bring you closer to your customer and the sale. Salespeople who try to manipulate customers break the rules of ethical conduct and violate the rules of professional selling. Salespeople who skillfully manipulate themselves break only sales records.

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The Side Effects of Technology

The technology industry suggests that we all can win by out-innovating our competition. That’s a bold promise; however, in reality, technology is like medicine: it often has side effects.

For example, in the year 1900, automotive companies produced 4,200 cars, of which 28 percent were powered by electric motors. While electric cars could run efficiently at about 30 MPH, gasoline-powered cars could reach higher speeds and travel longer distances.

1910 Ford-T

In 1908, Henry Ford began mass production of the Model T with a gasoline engine. The decision prompted Thomas Edison to stop the development of a longer-lasting battery for electric cars.

During the last century, automotive engineers designed more than 10,000 automobile innovations, such as the electric starter, the automatic transmission, the car radio, the electric turn signal, the electric window, power steering, cruise control, cassette and then CD players, ABS brakes, GPSs, heated seats, massaging seats, solar-powered cooling fans, and more.

Then there are related innovations such as traffic lights, speed bumps, detours, radar detectors, speed traps, traffic courts, and more. Today’s cars are designed to drive more than 120 MPH, but traffic conditions slow us to an average speed of about 30 MPH. It is ironic that after more than a century of innovation, we’ve only doubled the speed of a horse. But slow-moving traffic isn’t the only side effect of technology.

Imagine what would have happened if Henry Ford had decided to build the Model T with an electric motor. Charging a battery might cost only $5 per week. Global warming and dependence on foreign oil might not be pressing issues.


Information technology creates different side effects. We’ve accelerated the speed of information and increased the volume of information, and every day we master a smaller fraction of what there is to know. Surveys show that with all the computing power at our fingertips, neither business productivity nor customer satisfaction has increased. That’s because information is moving quickly and growing exponentially. Consequently, our days vanish in a blur of emails, conference calls, and insane travel schedules. Information technology tends to subdivide our time, which dilutes our overall focus and often prevents us from thinking harder and deeper.

Earth and phonedigitalart/

Technology allows us to communicate with a lot more people a lot faster. The side effects are that we miscommunicate more often, and we often miss the chance to communicate with honesty.

What does innovation and technology teach us? First, all innovation has hidden side effects. Second, technology does not eliminate complexity.

Managing complexity is one of the toughest leadership challenges. The solution is not to blindly eliminate complexity but to embrace it where it drives up revenues and value. We need to eliminate it when it just adds to waste. Today we need an intense curiosity about how to win without allowing complexity to strangle our humanity or sabotage our hard-earned progress.

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What about That Myth That Selling Is Getting “Tougher”?

Talk to sales managers about their jobs, and chances are, you’ll hear four common “complaints” about how they perceive today’s selling climate:

1. Selling is tougher than it has ever been.

2. Selling is more competitive than it has ever been.

3. Selling is more complex than it has ever been.

4. Selling is more stressful and not as much fun as it used to be.

How true are these statements? That’s a trick question. Believe it or not, these four responses don’t always reflect the state of the economy. More often, they reflect the state of mind of the responder.

I know a group of successful sales executives who say, “Selling has become more exciting than it has ever been.” These are the top performers who make things happen. They think differently because they see things differently. They know that it takes only a small shift in perception to achieve a big shift in performance.

Managing perception is what good selling is all about. A great salesperson is able to offer the customer a new perspective on an old problem. That, in turn, leads to a shift in attitude, a shift in the customer’s decision-making process. And that leads to a shift in the salesperson’s performance curve.

Top performers seem to be more effective when it comes to managing the selling’s “inner game.” While average salespeople unconsciously allow their fears to grow, top performers consciously challenge themselves to outgrow their fears.

Top performers don’t wish for less complexity, they learn to master more complex challenges. Like mountain climbers, they know that they won’t get better by seeking out gentler slopes. They have to find new ways to master greater degrees of difficulty.

Great CEOs don’t complain about the tough competition. They revel in the challenges that confront them. They meet those challenges head-on and no holds barred. Top sales leaders don’t wish for easier customers, but they build a better process for hiring more “A” players and helping them develop greater skills.

While average sales achievers automatically think that selling is getting harder, top achievers habitually take a harder look at reality and discover new ways to make selling easier for them and more authentic and enjoyable for their customers. They relate to their customers without pretense, and they don’t wear masks that prevent people from knowing who they really are.

When there is a crisis with a customer, the top performers rely on their inner reserves to see the opportunity within the difficulty, and they use a crisis to develop a more rewarding relationship with the client. How do top performers stay calm in a crisis? They take a half a step back and tune into their zone of productive awareness.

Top performers know that we can’t change reality, but we can choose to change our perception of reality. While average achievers know this as a fact, top performers live by this fact. Top performers are always aware of the secret to high achievement: as soon as we change our perception, we change our performance.

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Definitive Metrics of Sales Performance

Cabrera_newToday's blog post is by Christopher Cabrera, CEO of Xactly Corporation, the industry leader in sales compensation automation.


One statistic I shared at the Sales 2.0 conference last April was that US companies spend about $800 billion a year on sales compensation – three times more than they spend on advertising and $100 million more than the government spends on national defense.

Even though the cost of compensation dwarfs national advertising spend, companies tend to constantly analyze ad performance but seldom give their comp plans the same level of scrutiny. Businesses as a whole simply don’t do a very good job of measuring, iterating, and optimizing their incentives and compensation.

Well, why not? Why would otherwise savvy businesspeople not track their compensation plans to gauge how well they motivate employees to achieve company goals?

Because, until now, there simply hasn’t been empirical data available to inform or measure compensation plans.

Traditionally, there have been two approaches to analyzing incentives, neither of which is entirely satisfactory:

  1. Academic research, which tends to focus on single firms that grant researchers access to their internal information. This provides a snapshot of plans and performance but not a continuing view that would account for business changes.
  2. Experiential design, which is based on the combined knowledge of consultants and employees about strategies that have worked in the past. That’s helpful information, to be sure, but it’s also subjective and not forward-looking.

The good news is that empirical data is no longer the missing leg of a figurative three-legged stool. Which ­­brings me to my topic for next month’s Sales 2.0 conference: “Real Insight on What Drives Success: The Definitive Metrics of Sales Performance.”

As the only 100 percent cloud-based, multitenant compensation software solution in the marketplace, Xactly is in a position to provide exclusive data based on an analysis of seven years’ worth of sales-performance management. Armed with these terabytes of information, we’re developing insight and benchmarks to help companies align their sales compensation with their sales strategy.

I’ll be sharing more on this topic at the upcoming Sales 2.0 Conference on April 8-9 in San Francisco, but here are a few statistics to give you an idea of the magnitude of our number crunching. We’ve analyzed compensation data from

  • more than 500 companies,
  • more than 100,000 sales positions,
  • billions of calculations over the last seven years.

(For the record, the data is aggregated and anonymous, so no person or company is identifiable.)

We’ve always touted the advantages of automating sales compensation over calculating it manually on spreadsheet, but we also understand that automation is only part of the picture. Organizations can end up with complex calculation tools that prepare timely and accurate payroll but still lack any meaningful analysis or actionable information to inform their strategic decisions. 

That’s the gap that our ever-expanding data set will fill. By accessing this information, companies will be empowered to keep up with their peers by tapping into performance-management benchmarks. They can streamline processes to follow accepted standards and reward their teams competitively.

In short, the data we’ve compiled will provide the critical information companies need to make strategic management decisions and incent right.

I look forward to sharing more on April 9 at the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.

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The Brits Boast about Their Content-Marketing Prowess - But Not So Fast...

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have recently published their report, “Content Marketing in the UK: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends.” According to this report, marketers in the United Kingdom believe that their content-marketing effort is more effective than that of their peers in the United States and Australia and that they are leading the way in this regard. 

Their belief appears to be supported by CMI and DMA’s findings that marketers in the United Kingdom currently use “a wider range of content-marketing tactics than their international counterparts” and plan to increase their content-marketing budgets by a wider margin.

CMI and DMA report that content marketing is nearly universally adopted in the United Kingdom:

  • Ninety-four percent of all UK marketers use it.
  • B2C marketers in the United Kingdom using content-marketing strategies total 97 percent.
  • UK B2B marketers using it total 95 percent.

In contrast, according to the report, B2C marketers in North America and Australia are less likely to use content marketing than their B2B peers.

The margin by which content marketers in the United Kingdom intend to increase their budgets as compared to marketers in North American and Australia doesn’t seem to be so impressive, however:

  • Sixty-four percent of UK marketers say they will increase their content-marketing budget within the next 12 months.
  • More than half of marketers in North America (54 percent) say they will increase their content-marketing budget.
  • In Australia, 61 percent of marketers intend to allocate more funds to content marketing.

Social media use is universal:

  • Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are the most widely used social media by all marketers everywhere.
  • Overall (including in the United Kingdom), marketers use an average of four social-media platforms…
  • whereas North American B2B marketers leverage the reach of five platforms.

It appears that, despite the overwhelming adoption of content marketing and their intent to allocate more funds to advance their efforts, the two biggest challenges that UK content marketers face (delivering enough content and producing engaging content) are not new, nor are they specific to UK marketers.

While this research is an accurate reflection of the past, it ignores the emerging trend of employing emotional intelligence in marketing. I see more and more smart companies quietly changing their approach about content from logic to emotion. B2C companies are at the leading edge of this trend. Red Bull has done a great job of encouraging its customers to fly through the air (by base jumping, kite boarding, flying in wing suits, etc.) to drive its slogan “Gives you wings” into reality. Red Bull saved millions in marketing dollars by capturing and distributing content generated by customer advocates.

Here is another example: Joseph Tripodi, chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola, stated in an interview that Coca-Cola’s customers generate seven times more content than the company generates. Tripodi is less excited about impressions of a metric and more excited about customer expressions. He said that of the 140 million online mentions of the brand, only 20 million were created by his company. As of yesterday, Coca-Cola had 61 million likes on Facebook.

Traditional corporate content creators tend to get carried away with painting an embellished picture of reality (which often fails to lead to customer engagement). Companies are far better off investing less in content and giving their customers a paintbrush and canvas (via social-media platforms) and encouraging them to paint the true picture: the image of the brand as it is reflected in their hearts and minds.

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Seven Keys to Success

Today, salespeople carry smartphones, tote lightweight tablets, and are dialed into their organization’s network from, well, almost anywhere. No wonder that selling is now, more than ever, less a transactional endeavor and more an exercise in cultivating lasting relationships with customers. But despite the ubiquity of digital sales tools, reps who base their sales effort on a time-tested principle of work/life balance are most often the sales superstars. Here’s a list of some time-tested keys that will give you the best chance for success.

1. Work harder and play better.
Successful people know that nothing worthwhile comes easy. Hard work is important, but it is equally important to have fun. Go to any successful start-up company, and you’ll see employees blowing off steam on ping-pong tables, throwing darts, browsing books on a shelf, or playing trash-can basketball. Frolicking at work isn’t frivolous. Dispensed in small doses, it’s a powerful success medicine. Don’t be a workaholic; be a “workafrolic” instead.

2. Cultivate curiosity.
Successful people are not just curious about their chosen field, they are curious about EVERYTHING. They continually think, explore new ideas, ask dozens of questions, and always try to figure out how things work and how they could be made to work better. Curiosity is the most powerful business-improvement and personal-success engine.

3. Expand your endurance.
Push yourself mentally and physically. Successful people know how to generate and maintain positive energy 24/7. They strive to be physically fit, and at the same time they work on their psychological fitness. 

4. Turn failure into fertilizer.
Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before he found a filament that would glow in a vacuum tube, which lead to his invention of the light bulb. Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, and failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” 

5. Focus.
Successful people begin each day with written goals they want to achieve. They know that the onslaught of incoming emails, calls, and texts will distract them, but each time they get sidetracked, they go back to working on the next item on their list. People who start a new task every three minutes end up doing in an hour 20 small tasks that merely contribute to maintaining the status quo. It is far better to invest your complete mental focus on two or three tasks per hour and create steady forward momentum.

6. Innovate.
Successful people know that having innovative ideas is not enough. What counts is how many new ideas you can implement successfully. What holds people back is not the difficulty of implementing their ideas, but what people say when they start sharing their ideas with others. Oracle founder Larry Ellison said it best: “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you that you’re nuts.” 

7. Manage disappointment.
Successful people realize that reaching success often depends on how they manage the inevitable disappointments that unexpectedly impact their lives. When people get disappointed, they often withdraw, and their anger turns inward. Successful people transform disappointment into a journey of self-discovery, where they reconnect with their inner strengths. Disappointment well managed will become the cradle of ambition.

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12 Tips: Making Your Sales Relationships Work

At a past Sales Leadership Conference, during a private dinner organized for all speakers, we discussed sales relationships. While everyone there agreed that relationships are vital to creating sales, the consensus was that there is no formal body of knowledge that explains how relationships are formed, what makes them grow, what causes them to fizzle, and what leads to the creation of value. One speaker called relationships “the soul of business.” Below is a summary of the excellent ideas – and there was no shortage of them – shared by 18 sales leaders who continually contribute to the selling profession.

1. Good salespeople bring positive energy to a relationship. We can choose to be energy givers or energy takers.

2. Trust hinges on the willingness to deliver on promises. Once trust is lost, relationships cannot survive.

3. A relationship’s value depends on the customer’s perception of value, not on the salesperson’s definition of value.

4. To the customer, the top value drivers are integrity, authenticity, and consistency.

5. Effective relationship builders are willing to listen to better understand customer challenges. They ask questions that lead to consultative conversations, which open doors to greater opportunities.

6. The salesperson’s courage to resolve the difficult situations customers face enhances relationships. One speaker called this “the ability to put oneself in harm’s way.”

7. The quality of the relationship with the customer is determined by the quality of the relationship between the sales manager and salesperson. Sales managers exemplify a company’s corporate culture.

8. Relationships are enhanced by the salesperson’s ability to communicate in compelling and creative ways. One sales leader explained how he uses video email prior to a customer visit and follows up with a video email immediately after the call. Video email is six times more effective than standard email.

9. Relationships demand a long-term investment. Without it, there is no ROI. One of the speakers shared that “there is no return on ignoring [the customer].”

10. There is a difference between a transaction and a relationship. Transactions create one-time value; relationships create long-term value and a stable business foundation.

11. Relationships grow through differentiation and the willingness to contribute beyond what is expected. “There is no traffic jam on the extra mile,” commented another speaker.

12. Good salespeople use smart social-media strategies to enhance customer relationships. They make it their business to stay connected to their customers through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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The Three Elements of an Effective Social-Business Strategy

Paul Greenberg defines social business as “the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.” After taking the audience’s pulse at a Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference back in 2011, I realized that Greenberg’s definition was already a traffic light behind Main Street. The rapid rate at which companies integrate social media into their business operation is astonishing. Search Engine Journal predicted that by 2012, 43 percent of companies would be using social media. Today, more than 80 percent of companies use social media for recruiting. One company represented at the conference reported that 20 percent of its new leads come from its social-business strategy. Another company reported that leads created through social media are three times more likely to close than leads generated by marketing.

While individual social-media tools add little value and offer no ROI, a social-business strategy leads to quantifiable results. Here is my definition of social business: the alignment of content, conversations, and collaboration with the company’s business strategy.

On a tactical level, a social-business strategy relies on three core elements:

Content. Ownership of a product or service is always preceded by ownership of the related content. Content is a currency that companies share to earn interest in the marketplace. Good content leads to better conversations. Good content educates customers. Good content catches customers. For example, at HubSpot, all salespeople are asked to create and maintain a blog. The results: more traffic to the company’s Website, higher search-engine optimization ratings, and unprecedented sales growth year over year.

Conversation. In the world of social business, the sales pitch has been replaced by a fluid conversation between equal partners. The focus is on situational fluency. If the prospect has already completed 80 percent of the fact finding in the purchase process, it’s the salesperson’s job to deliver the remaining 20 percent within the allocated time frame set aside for the conversation. In their one to many conversations, smart companies have shifted their strategy from thought leadership to community leadership. Good community leaders set conversational boundaries that prevent members from going on rabbit trails or engaging in Wild West behavior. It takes a well-managed community with clear boundaries to close more business.

Collaboration. Social CRM tools have given companies the opportunity to collaborate across the organization, eliminating silos while maintaining a steady focus on business at hand. Smart companies extend the collaboration pipeline to include their customers. By elevating customers to the status of equal partner, companies can co-create their future.

While the benefits of transforming a company into a social business are clear, what’s not clear is the path to get there. While the Internet has the potential to replicate on a screen our mind’s agility, the number of available tools to create an effective social-media strategy is staggering.

Success doesn’t depend on choosing the right program like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, but on business leaders’ embracing the fact that social media isn’t a choice, it’s a mandate for business survival.

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Who Should Be Responsible for Sales Enablement Content - Sales or Marketing?

Clip_image002Today's blog post is by Jeff Ogden, award-winning B2B marketing expert, president of the sales lead generation company Find New Customers, and creator of the very popular and syndicated online TV show Marketing Made Simple TV 


What is a Buyer Persona™
Buyer personas tell you exactly how and why a representative buyer makes the decision to buy the products, services, or solutions that you market.

While buyer personas may include other details, the 5 Rings of Insight are their most overlooked and essential aspect, clarifying decisions for persuasive messaging, content marketing, product or solution launches, campaigns, and sales alignment.

Priority Initiatives
Success Factors
Perceived Barriers
Buying Process
Decision Criteria

The Five Rings of Insight and the ebook is owned by the Buyer Persona Institute.

When Gerhard Gschwandtner asked me that question in our recent video interview, I was dumbfounded for a moment. Sales? Marketing? Whom?

My first instinct was to answer yes, because marketing and sales have to work together.

I believe the lines separating sales and marketing need to end. He asked how those groups could unite. I told him those leaders need to get together and spend some quality time. Gerhard joked, “Are you saying a few beers can bring these teams together?” Yes, Gerhard, marketing and sales leaders are just people. If they spend quality time getting to know each other, things will go swimmingly. That means a lunch meeting or even a few beers after work.

In this guest post, I want to explore how sales and marketing can work together to create effective sales enablement content.

How to Create Truly Useful Sales Enablement Content

If one thinks about it, the role of content is to answer buyer questions needed to facilitate a purchase.  Only after you answer their questions can buyers become comfortable enough to sign with you. That means we need to first think about the questions that need answering.

Where can we learn these questions? We should talk to salespeople and even do some unstructured interviews of won and lost deals.  (Note: Download a free e-book on Buyer Personas here.)

Let’s use an example to illustrate: say the company trying to win a sale is “Acme Financial Solutions.” Acme offers a SaaS software product to enable marketing leaders to close faster.  A senior salesperson with Acme – let’s call him “Tom” – has a meeting with a VP of finance at a large financial services firm in New York City.

Tom meets with the VP and shows him a demonstration of the financial software. Then they sketch out on a whiteboard how the financial processes will change. The VP is impressed. But he says to Tom, “I’m concerned about our ability to successfully implement this software. I’m not sure we have the right talents in-house or know how to make the needed changes to use your software.”

Tom does a song and dance and tries to assure the buyer that Acme will help his company through these changes. Acme has done nothing to arm Tom for questions like this; however, if Acme had thought through the question ahead of time and the salespeople have been asked this question before, then the company could craft content to answer the question.

Let’s put Tom back in the meeting with the VP of finance. He’s again asked about the need for the right talents and processes. Tom pulls out an iPad and pops up a video. In this video, an existing Acme client talks about the implementation and what was learned about training and process change. Tom’s prospect has an answer from a trusted source and signs on the spot.

Conclusion: Sales and Marketing Need to Work Together

How do sales and marketing become one and create truly useful content like Tom’s?

I think there’s no secret formula; it requires people who genuinely care. People who care spend time talking and really listening to the point of view of the other person. If both sales and marketing teams feel the other has its best interest at heart, the icy distrust will thaw.

Next, sales and marketing need to come up with a list of buyer questions. These come from past sales experiences and unstructured buyer interviews. (Download a free e-book on Buyer Personas here.) Sit down for a meeting and get these questions documented. Once the questions are compiled, then start thinking about how best to answer those questions.

Perhaps you could record a video or audio interview of an existing client. Or you could create some other form of useful content. No matter what, sales and marketing can create great content – together.

A few pints of good beer can solve everything, I think.

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6 Tips to Write More Profitable Prospecting Emails

SueHC_headToday's blog post is by Sue Hershkowitz-Coore, author of Power Sales Writing: Using Communication to Turn Prospects into Clients (Second Edition) which appeared on the Selling Power Best Books for Sales Success in 2013 list.

Every day people forward awful sales emails to me. A recent favorite opened with, "I just wanted to take a moment to personally introduce myself as your sole contact for XYX company! I am truly excited to be put in this position as I am very proud and passionate about … etc." 

It seems reasonable to assume that the salesperson who crafted that email also has her own email account, doesn’t it?  Would she take her valuable time to respond to an email like that? 

What can you do to ensure your emails don't end up on the "Can You Beat This?" segment of my Facebook page? How do you write a selling message that engages buyers and creates sales potential?

Here is the most important thing to remember: prospects are just not that into you. As awesome as your product or service most assuredly is, no one will care about a cheesy, self-involved, features dump. Here’s a hint. If your email begins with the word "I," you've just put yourself in the reader’s delete zone. 

Prospects are twice as busy as you are. Treat them that way. Show value for their time and eliminate all the parts of an email that no one ever reads anyway. From my book, Power Sales Writing: Using Communication to Turn Prospects into Clients (Second Edition), here are six practical tips to help you write more exciting, appealing, profitable prospecting messages:

1. Know why you’re writing the email. Most salespeople think the purpose of an initial prospecting email is to introduce themselves. Dead wrong! You’re writing to get the prospect excited or pique her interest about how she might do the best job. So why are you writing? Plan it out.

2. Be authentic and transparent. Opening your message with: Your name was given to me because you plan meetings... is respectful and quick. It may not be earth shattering, but at least you haven't turned off your potential lead with a phony or self-serving statement. By beginning with a simple truth, you've started the groundwork for a trusting relationship. Of course, if you have a referral, always start there ("Sophie Spaniel suggested I contact you … ”).

3. Paint a picture of your prospect's success. Instead of going into sales-kill mode, think about what the prospect gains by talking with you. Let's say you're a hotelier representing a luxury brand writing to a meeting professional.  Use words that evoke a positive emotion to help the prospect feel what she can gain from talking with you. For example, “Your name was given to because you plan meetings and when you're looking for a beautiful backdrop for your event -- one that creates a relaxing, positive learning environment - we may have an awesome option for you.

4. Explain the next step. Depending on your brand and complexity of the sale, you might either explain how you'll take the next step or ask permission to do so. You might write, “I'll plan to phone you Tuesday morning to learn more about what ensures a productive event for you. If another time is more convenient, I'll follow-up as you suggest.”

5. Don't use pressure tactics. If the prospect wants to buy right away, she’ll tell you. In the meantime, avoid phrases that make you sounds overbearing. Instead, try saying, "when the time is right." This reduces pressure and sounds less pushy. 

6. Use a subject line that gets to the point. The best subject lines accurately reflect the main point of the email. If you're writing to request a phone call, the subject line could be, “Action request: Phone call Tuesday.” When you want your message to get opened, especially when you don't yet have a relationship with the reader, use a subject line that doesn't sell and quickly explains the essence of the message.

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