Using email effectively is an absolute must in today’s business world. It is surprising to me how much email has started to dominate the selling landscape over the past 5 years. That being said, understanding email etiquette is vital to moving a deal through the pipeline.
Eyesonsales.com has an article that gives some good guidelines to follow in using email:
- View email as the new prospecting tool. After you leave a voicemail, follow-up with an email, giving prospects 2 easy ways to respond. Remember, your goal is to connect with the person. Even if they respond “no”, you’ve connected and can respond to try to generate an interest.
- Keep the sales process moving forward. Use emails to ask requirement gathering questions, get referrals, make recommendations, and provide updates.
- Respond to all emails with action items promptly. You return phone calls within 1-24 hours. The expectation now is that you’ll return emails within 30 minutes – 12 hours. If you can’t respond completely, send an email setting expectations about when you will send a full response.
- Think – and proof – before you send. Sometimes it’s best to draft a response, then wait 30 minutes before sending. You may choose to soften, shorten, or otherwise change your response.
- You may need a hand-held device such as a Blackberry to keep up. Consider what tools you need to stay on top of your emails.
- Schedule daily time on your calendar to respond to emails.
One tip I would add – Don’t treat email like a text message. Email messages should be treated as a relatively formal means of communication – far more than a text message. There is nothing as shockingly inappropriate as an email that reads like a text message. Avoid this approach like the plague!