Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Email - January 30, 2016

Did I really send that Email to my new prospective client? Did I? Did I really send that generic, salesy, full-of-corporate-jargon Email? Please, oh no, please tell me I didn’t do it. Damn, I did. I really sent that full-of-crap, salesy, full-of-corporate-jargon Email. What was I thinking? What in the bloody hell was I thinking?


Clearly I wasn’t thinking. I lost my way momentarily. I was in a haze, a terrible corporate-salesy haze. I did something I’m not proud of – I sent an Email to a client that made me sound like “that guy”. You know the “guy” I’m talking about. The one that throws around lots of sales-speak trying to keep up with or impress the other “that guy” you met with. Wow, what was I thinking?


Now here’s the thing, and it’s rather funny, I got a very favorable reply leading me to believe I am going to be awarded a new contract. So, what is wrong with that? What could be so bad that I’m beating myself up about an Email? Simply put, it didn’t sound like me, doesn’t reflect my style of communication, and it made me sound like a pompous used car salesman trying to impress someone.


It doesn’t happen often, and when it does, I catch myself and beat myself up about it. Being yourself, even in an Email, is important to remember when choosing sales as a career. ‘A’ level sales people are known for excellent communication, but the excellent communication is an extension of “who they are”. It is about their sales style and their personality.


Way back when, I had a college professor that taught professional writing for daily use in business. This was pre-Email, pre-Internet days. But, I’ll never forget her favorite saying, “write like you speak”. She wasn’t talking about contracts, proposals, or letters-of-intent, but rather letter writing on a more personal-professional manner. The introductory letter. The thank you letter. Nowadays the Email. “Write like you speak”.


I beat myself up pretty good about this recent brainfart of an Email. It wasn’t me. It didn’t sound like me. It was a momentary lapse of moderate (not even good) writing. I am a firm believer that my communication skills, your communications skills, are the keys to a sales person’s success. Don’t be “that guy”. Write it like you say it.

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