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
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.