With so many sales emails filling inboxes, it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out and still communicate a sales message. But it becomes even harder to achieve success if the salesperson is lazy and isn’t listening to their prospect.
Consider an email recently I received from a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) organization. Companies often outsource business processes, such as customer service, to a BPO. Here is the full text of the email:
I hope this email finds you well. My name is Ben*, and I am the Business Development Manager at Beepo* BPO, a leading provider of business process outsourcing services.
At Beepo BPO, we are passionate about helping businesses succeed and achieve their goals. That’s why I would like to bring your attention to the opportunity of doing business with us at Beepo BPO.
Our BPO services include a range of offerings such as customer service, data management, and technical support, which can help The Experience Maker, LLC streamline its operations and improve its overall efficiency. Our team of experts is highly trained and experienced, and we are dedicated to delivering exceptional services to our clients.
I would like to request a meeting with you to discuss our services and how they can benefit The Experience Maker, LLC. Please let me know if this is possible, and I will arrange a call at a time that is convenient for you.
Thank you for considering our proposal, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
* Names changed to protect the guilty.
Breaking Down A Bad Sales Email
Wow, where to start with this one? We could point out that the email is signed “[Your Name]” – an instant indicator that it’s a template. That in turn makes the insertion of my company name (complete with the LLC) at two strategic points in the email look templated as well.
Even looking past that, the email is all about the sender, not the recipient. Other than generic, throw-away lines like “helping businesses succeed and achieve their goals” and “streamline its operations and improve its overall efficiency,” there is nothing in the email that suggests the sender knows anything about my business.
Do we think that any organization doesn’t want to “succeed and achieve their goals”?
And a simple search of my company on LinkedIn would reveal that it’s pretty much a one-man show – so not so much in need of an outsourced customer service center.
Normally I would have just deleted this email just due to its irrelevance. But as it turns out, I have been the keynote speaker at a number of BPO events so I thought I’d try to reverse the pitch. I answered:
Ben – Thanks for your message. As I’m sure you can tell from my website and online presence, I am not a good target for your BPO services. However, I have worked with several other BPOs for speaking engagements at client and/or employee events. I’m guessing that’s someone else’s department, but I’d appreciate being able to connect with them to see if I can help Beepo acquire and keep more customers this year! Thank you and have a great weekend.
I knew this was a low-risk, probably low-reward opportunity, and I also knew that Ben wasn’t going to be choosing his company’s next keynote speaker, so I tried to keep the response sounding non-salesy.
Another Bad Sales Email
Ben’s response surprised me. The beginning indicated he had actually read my email:
Thank you for taking the time to respond to our email. We appreciate your candid feedback and are glad to hear that you have worked with BPOs in the past for speaking engagements.
But then, right back to the sales email pitch:
At Fusion BPO, we specialize in providing top-notch lead generation and appointment setting services to companies like yours. While our services may not align with your current needs, we believe that our expertise in these areas can assist your clients and employees in achieving their goals.
Our dedicated team of experts will work closely with your clients and employees to generate leads and set appointments, leaving them free to focus on other critical aspects of their business. With our support, they can expect to see an increase in sales, improved processes, and exceptional customer service.
So now instead of trying to sell me, he wants me to sell him to my clients. How likely is that outcome given that we’ve never met or had a conversation?
The email concludes with “We look forward to the opportunity to work with you and your team,” which again indicates no awareness of the size of my company.
Related: Why Sales Is The Beginning Of The Customer Experience [VIDEO]
What To Do Instead
Don’t assume that your product or service is for everyone. It’s OK to ask the question of who is not your customer because if we try to sell stuff to people that they don’t want, we lose credibility.
Instead, if we’re able to identify that a certain lead probably isn’t the right target for this product or service, we’re actually helping them. We’re doing them a favor, and we’re gaining trust plus a positive reflection on the brand.
What’s more, we’re doing our sales team a favor by identifying people they don’t need to waste time contacting since they aren’t going to buy from us anyway. This helps them be more efficient and effective.
I once had a salesperson call me so many times and leave countless voicemails. I finally picked up one day just to tell him that I wasn’t interested. Just like that, it seemed that a huge weight rose from his shoulders. He thanked me because he could now cross my name off his list and not waste any more time with me! Except that isn’t the prospect’s role.
Remember that sales or marketing is often the very first experience a potential customer has with a company, so we want to make it remarkable. This first interaction sets the stage for the rest of the customer or client experience. My first impression of Beepo? They don’t understand my needs. That’s probably not going to lead to a sale.
So throw away the email template, do some research on your target first, and write a personalized email that demonstrates you understand them and their issues – not just that they may or may not have the same problems as everyone else.