At Inside Sales Dude, word of mouth referrals are crucial for generating consulting projects. I want people to think of me when they are trying to solve a sales problem.
One way to I stay “top of mind” is by writing blog posts providing practical advice for Sales Management.
If I dumped all of my contacts into a distribution list, I would be able to email blast almost 2000 readers whenever I published a new post.
I’ll bet if I did this, more people would see my posts. I might even generate more new business.
But here’s the problem – some of these people have not asked to be added to my mailing list – despite the fact that they find my posts to be enlightening, inspirational, and educational (or maybe not).
So unless yiu are a client, a colleague or a friend, I just won’t do it.*
And even if you are, if you unsubscribe, I’ll keep you off my list forever. I respect your time, your attention and your privacy.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to rely on relevant content, solid work, and mutual respect to drive my consulting practice.
That’s not such a bad way to do business.
*Unless you are my mom, my son or my wife. Sorry Mom, Zack and Ellen – you’ll get every blog post, like it or not.
The Problem With Email
I can’t stand when a business adds me to their emailing list without explicitly obtaining my permission.
Just because I provide my email address to get some product info or create an account with a company, doesn’t mean that I want to be added to its SPAM list.
Does anyone really believe that sending unwanted email promotions will convert people into a loyal customers?
And if they don’t, then why are so many companies doing this?
From a technically legal perspective, whenever we do business with a company, we implicitly give them permission to email us (see the CAN-SPAM act). We also know that most companies use fine print in their terms and conditions to “obtain consent” to do whatever they want.
But I’m not here to debate technicalities and fine print. I’m here to talk about how Sales Managers can help our reps use email most effectively.
How to Use Email
Email is critical for salespeople. It’s indisputably a necessary tool for prospecting, selling and staying in touch.
The best way to use email for prospecting is to use it to engage your prospects in a real conversation. See this post for how to do this.
- Email should not be a substitute billboard for your company announcements. You’ve got a website and press releases for that.
- Email is not a substitute for having a conversation. You’ve got a phone for that.
- If your email is simply vomiting info onto me, then don’t send it. Nobody wants that.
Before hitting send, ask yourself, would I want to receive this email? Take a few minutes to really think about it. If the answer isn’t a clear “Yes”, then it’s time to figure out a better apporach.
Some Inside Sales Dude Email List Rules
- Don’t add anyone to your marketing email list unless they explicitly request to be added (and no, those sneaky default “add me to your mailing list” checkboxes and fine print Ts & Cs do not count)
- Never sell or share contact info with your “partners”. Among the worst abusers of this are the NY Times, Tribune Publishing, Chase Bank, Citibank, Equifax, many clothing retailers, utilities, all magazines, and surprisingly, many government agencies.
- Don’t abuse trust. If you have someone’s email address, respect it like it is yours.
When in doubt, refer to Inside Sales Dude Rule #1.
In a future post, I’ll share some results from the best and worst email prospecting methods my teams have used in the past.
Feel free to submit some of yours in the comments below.
If you want some help building your sales team or improving sales, contact me here. I’d love to hear from you.
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