Solid Sales Email Tips from Mark Kosoglow

Oct 3, 2013, by Mark Kosoglow

We have all heard one, if not many, of Aesop's Fables. Core lessons of life crammed into engaging stories like the Hare and the Tortoise and The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.

Did you know that Aesop was a slave who lived 600 years before Christ? I've always found that compelling. Think about it...how many ancient Greeks' names are remembered 2600 years after they die? How many continue to directly influence the upbringing of thousands of kids each day as their tales are heard in classrooms by teachers and in bedrooms from books read by parents before bed? Aesop's legacy is a true testament to the eternity of a good story.

Do you want to be remembered? Do you want to have influence? Do you want people to be re-telling others what they heard (and learned) from you? Answers those questions from a sales perspective. Do you want your features and benefits to be remembered? Do you want your pitch to be influential? Do you want someone at the presentation to go tell others about your solutions?

If you do, you need to figure out how to tell a good story. There are many sites and experts on story-telling to learn how to craft a good story. So instead of helping you write your story, I want to show you how to break down your story into an email conversation…Aesop's Emails, if you will, so that your sales pitch will be remembered, have influence, and be retold by C-Suiters the world over.

Know The Rules

I know that you know that everyone knows the email rules, but I am going to state them again, just so we have a framework to build from:

  1. Don't go long - Be concise (5 sentences or less -- that's all they are going to read anyway)
  2. Don't sell - Entice (sell during the sales presentation when you can actually respond to questions and objections)
  3. Don't be a taker - Provide value (if you don't give something in the email, you are taking. Every email needs value attached to it via an article, a potential networking connection, a research study, etc.)

Internalize these rules for a second:  If you were to get a 5 sentence email with an enticing answer to a problem you have containing a link to an article which proved the emailer truly understands your problem, wouldn't you read it? Skimming is out of the question since you can't really skim only 5 sentences, right?. You would read it. I would. Shot! If the whole email fits on the screen of my phone, I read it out of respect for the sender's being mindful of my time.

Build the Timeline

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How many times am I willing to email (without getting any contact back) a prospect before I give up?
  • How many days/weeks am I willing to contact someone every 3-5 days (without getting any contact back) before I give up?

Those 2 answers will be able to help you give you a timeline. I, recently, asked a co-worker of mine these 2 questions, and he answered 9 times to the first and a month to the second. By defining those 2 variables, he was able to draw a line, put 9 ticks on it representing the 9 email "story" he wanted to tell, and determine how many days in between each touch there would be, whose sum equaled 30 - total days in the month. I included a picture of our whiteboard during that meeting.

Break the Story Down

You know how many emails you want to send. You have your story ready to tell. Be bold; chop it up. Write each email so that it contains part of the longer "story" you want to tell.

I already know what your first temptation will be. You are going to say, "My story is too long to break up into X number of emails that are only 5 sentences long." That's a weak temptation to give in to which leads to the continued sin of horrible emails with poor results. If your email is longer than 5 sentences, they won't read it anyway, so does it really matter what you put in a longer-than-5-sentence email? No! If you keep writing long emails, though, because it just doesn't "feel" right or because you just aren't able to make the point you just knoooooow will get them to email or call your back, then you'll keep having open days on your calendar.

You need to come to grips with the fact that it isn't one magical email that gets you the appointment, call back, etc. Sure, your third email seems to be the sweet spot, but I doubt that would continue to be the case if you started sending it out first. Multiple touches (in multiple mediums) linked together with a storyline, are short, don't sell, and have something of value attached to them are the key. A thorough, thoughtful, replicable process is the only way to deliver sustainable, predictable results. No one can guarantee success, but you can wake up each morning and tirelessly work a process whose end result is known to produce desired outcomes.

[...stepping off soapbox now...]

Here's a tip…a template for you to use for your 5 sentences:

  1. State the problem
  2. Identify with the problem and/or let them know you get it and they aren't crazy for thinking it's a problem
  3. Share an enticing solution
  4. Validate the proposed solution with your piece of value (this is where Toutapp shines because you can see who actually opens these "gifts" up…those are HOT leads, by the way, time to call them).
  5. Ask for the meeting and preview the next email you are sending

Need an example. This is one from a company that sells education products to school districts:

Hey {{first_name}},

It's not just at {{company}}, educators are having a tough time finding a reading program based on Virginia's SOLs. When they do find one, oftentimes they are forced to discard the curriculum that they have invested in.

XYZ Corp has a fun and engaging solution that supplements what you are already doing!  Everyday Learning Fun immerses each child in the SOL reading progression making your current reading curriculum more effective; check out the attached Scope and Sequence outlining E.L.F.s alignment to the Virginai SOLs.

Contact me about setting an appointment in early October to discuss how E.L.F. can help improve your SOL scores (and enable teachers to create effective learning centers in their classrooms).

Make Your Battle Plans

Once you have all the emails written, you need to create an email campaign that personalizes each and allows you to schedule when each part of your Aesop's Emails is sent. You need to find the right tool to get this job done.

I'm not getting paid or a perk for writing this (am I? Should I? Can I? I wish I was. Can we work that out?), but there are tools that make this last part easy…and ones that make it hard.

Toutapp is a tool that makes this easy. Once you have the emails written and the groups figured out, you can easily schedule a chain of emails to go out over a certain period of time. I recently had a sales rep send out 823 emails in 7 days…it took him about 30 minutes per day…and he could see who was opening them…and he could see who was clicking on links…and he started using all the time he was saving to plan his phone calls and in-person cold calls around actual data rather than just his gut…and he got some huge appointments…and he is still getting huge appointments.

Conclusion

Aesop is remembered. Aesop gets results. And, Aesop would be a failure if he sent his "sales fables" to prospects today. Those fables would still be valuable, impactful, and timeless, but nobody would read them, so nobody would buy from Aesop. He'd end up being a nameless, faceless ancient Greek sales guy because of his long emails.

But if he broke down his stories, followed the email rules, and found a tool that could automate his process, Aesop's Emails would be just as valuable, impactful, and timeless…and Aesop wouldn't have been a mere "slave" of a salesman for long b/c his commissions would have done blowed up, y'all!!

About the Author

 

Mark Kosoglow's is one heck of a salesman, teacher, coach and thought leader.

His motto is grounded on a few simple principles. "Effort + Curiosity + Ability to Make Connections = Get It Done Selling."

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