Look, I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m a bitchy email reply-er to sales emails. Most of the time (like you, probably) I completely ignore them because I get it: you want me to give you money to do a thing for me that I’m either unwilling or unable to do without you. Fair. You’re doing the grind, but it won’t work with me so I just delete.
But when I get a really over-the-top, “holy-shit-did-you-really-just-waste-everyones-time” email then I respond. Today I got one of those emails.
It was from a dude who was selling social media something…management or growth, I don’t know. What’s interesting is that the email stated he’d checked out my social media profiles and noticed my presence was “lacking.”
Fairly typical sales pitch, right? It’s the ole’ sales sandwich: “I totally know you’re great and awesome, but here’s where you lack. I can help, also thanks. Sales call?”
Here’s why this one irked me so terribly: If he had actually researched my social media, he’d see the last post I made here. If you don’t feel like heading over to Instagram, it says “I hate social media and the way it makes me feel so I’m out.” So much for doing all that research, right? So I replied and called him out on it. My inbox gets too many bullshit emails every day to keep letting it happen and I’m sure yours does, too. How can you avoid getting replies calling you out on your shit? It’s simple (no really. It is!)
How to make sales online: do this (and not that)
I’m not going to give a listicle here because I know you’re not here for that. Sales is a numbers game, it’s true, but quantity over quality will never work. As someone who was so insecure about her own first business, she made a product catalog of 50+ SKUs believe me I know that the instinct of “more is more!” runs deep.
But it rarely works. I don’t want to say “never” because really, who knows? Maybe buckshot sales emails actually work every now and then.
But it doesn’t work when your buckshot claims to be from a sniper, you know what I mean? You want to drive high-ticket sales to your funnel then you’ve got to create the bespoke experience that earns that money. Because sending mass emails that get you called out as, well…a liar torpedoes your credibility.
And yeah, it ruins your credibility to me, your one of thousands of cold lead sales emails, but I’m not the only one. I’m just the asshole who told you you’re busted and need to do it better.
To make sales of things that are high-ticket you need to put in the work. Who are the most likely to buy from you? What is it you’re offering them that’s going to make the value of your services or products worth it? You want me to spend ten thousand dollars on your social media management then you better know what my content is and what I’m trying to do.
You know why your thing is so valuable, right? But I (as in I, your faceless customer) don’t know who you are and give 0 shits because my guard is already up. I’ve already received 50 other emails this week, some automatically ending up in spam (which means you are in serious shit if Google or any other ESP is auto-tagging you as spam), and I’m tired from work and that thing that keeps nagging me in the back of my head. Also it’s fucking cold or hot in this room and your email is adding to the pile of shit.
Sales emails are an uphill battle in a hostile environment. And yeah, it sucks when all your effort goes for naught and that 30 minutes your VA spent researching me doesn’t turn out to be a successful sales call, but sales is a numbers game, right? You’ll fine-tune that pitch for the next person your VA researched and move down the list till you get it right. Also, that time you and your VA spent should’ve been budgeted for already so it’s a known cost that’s already factored into your pricing strategy, right? RIGHT? Please, do your cost projections correctly!
tldr: don’t embarrass yourself and lose credibility in your sales emails by faking your effort to research the client. Do the work to justify the pitch and know you’re in an uphill battle from the get-go. However, if you can show your cold lead that time was truly taken to understand what it is they’re trying to do and how your product/service can improve their results, you have a better shot that gets better with each lead.