In the article Sales Email Fails – How NOT to Use Email, I described a situation where a new prospect, Bob, explained the problems he is having with his production line. (If you haven’t read it yet, go read it now. The following will make a lot more sense if you do.)
The problem with that response is that you are trying to do everything: deliver pricing, motivate to buy now, and close the sale. Instead of sending the Email Fails response and trying to close the sale, consider the difference if you only try to close the next conversation with this email:
I enjoyed meeting you on Tuesday. We have several solutions to increase your production capacity so that you can meet your high-season demand. When do you have 15 minutes to discuss options and next steps?
This email does one thing, and it does it well – it closes the next call. During the next call you get Bob to commit to scheduling a meeting with his VP of Operations and his CFO. This is a critical next step.
You want to involve the two key people who understand the problem and can approve a purchase. They may also have a different perspective than Bob on the nature of the problem and alternative solutions. It starts a discussion for options beyond the one that Bob suggested.
For example, Bob’s immediate need is to meet a 20% increase in demand and his solution is to add a new piece of equipment to his one production line. That will solve the problem that Bob knows.
What Bob doesn’t know is that the CFO is looking at sales forecasts that predict an increase of 60% for next year. The CFO thinks that it would be wise to invest in building a second production line that will more than double their capacity. The VP of Operations wants to know if a second production line can be installed before the start of their next high season. None of this information would surface with the Email Fails message. But it can all be discovered in the meeting that was set up by the second email.
The point is that the email is used to close something small and simple, a short phone call.