Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Secrets of Better Selling

Here's a quick lesson in effective selling.

Today’s case study comes from Linked-In Answers, where members of the business-networking site ask each other questions and hope for helpful responses.

A video/media entrepreneur named John recently posted his email sales letter to the site, asking Linked In members if they'd be likely to respond to his pitch. The result was a unique lesson in how to address prospects and hold customers’ attention – courtesy of the members of LinkedIn.

(This is the occasional genius of Web 2.0 – tapping user-generated content for the wisdom that you can't normally access in everyday life.)

So here’s John’s pitch, intended for prospects whom he has already (briefly) met:

"Would like the opportunity to schedule a 15-20 minute online Webex presentation of our services. {My company} provides you with an arsenal of powerful tools that will help reduce costs, improve productivity and ultimately increase your profits.
Pls visit our site….look forward to hearing from you"

What do you think? Would you respond to that email, or just delete it?

Most commentators offered lots of suggestions for improvement. Here are some samples.

“I think it would be far more compelling if you focused on specific benefits as opposed to your more general platitude statement of value… Be specific. Tell the prospect what they can expect by involvement.”

“The answer is maybe. The fact that you claim that you can deliver the holy trinity (reduce cost, improve productivity, and increase profits) does not get my attention – because everyone says that.

“Don't start with a question, because I don't have 15-20 minutes. No one does. Start with a benefit to the reader. Do you save time? Can this make my personal life better? Will I see my kids more often? Will the boss love me and give me a raise?”

“Introduce yourself and what you do in the first line. State the specific benefit to the prospect in the second line. Then ask for time.”

“This sounds like a sales email, and no one has time for sales people. As my boss always says: ‘SHOW ME, don't TELL me.’ SHOW me how you are going to save me time/money in your email in 3 sentences.”

There’s lots more. Check out the original post and all the answers here.

It’s like having your own private sales coach. Free!

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