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A Thing It takes Guts


e-mail for Sales


e -mail can be an excellent tool, no doubt about that. But, if it’s not used wisely, it can become an albatross that slows down your operating system and encourages laziness and sloppiness.

Here are some ways to use e-mail to save time and generate responses:

  • Keep your in and outbox organized. The great part about e-mail is you have a record of who did what, when. But keeping every tidbit of information can be cumbersome and just plain unnecessary. When you read an e-mail the first time, decide if you will keep it or file it. If you will not keep it, delete it right away. If you wish to keep it, set up folders for archiving messages. If possible, store them on your hard drive, rather than in your e-mail software. 

  • When communicating via e-mail in place of mail or fax, take care and avoid the temptation to be sloppy. You may be tempted to believe that since this message will not be printed on letterhead, reviewed by someone, folded, stamped, and mailed that it is not as important or as final and therefore does not need to go through the same check points a fax or piece of snail mail would. But, the opposite is true. In fact, a piece of e-mail will probably be viewed by many more eyes than a piece of snail mail or a fax because it can be viewed by numerous people at once. And, each time it is forwarded, a “copy” is made. So, if you misspelled a name, put a decimal in the wrong place, forgot to include your phone number, everyone will see it. Take the same time and care with an email correspondence as you would with a traditional piece of mail. Proofread it, write in professional terms, and avoid the urge to write in the same manner you speak. 

  • If you have URLs or images that will benefit the reader, provide links to them. But, if you are uncertain how to link or if the link will “take”, read the FAQs and hold off until you are certain you know how to insert links. The point is to save time and improve efficiency. If the receiver has to call you to tell you the link did not work, no time was saved.

  • Use the subject line to alert who your e-mail is intended for and what it is regarding. If you are sending attachments, such as a contract or price quote, remember to name the attached file wisely. For example, if your company, ABC ISO, is submitting a bid or price quote to ACME Widgets, don’t label your attachment ACME Widgets—that doesn’t tell them anything. Instead, label it ACB ISO Price Quote.

  • Finally, use e-mail to your advantage and let everyone know you’re online. Put your e-mail address (and Web site if you have one) on your letterhead, business cards, voice mail, anywhere a prospective customer will see your name.

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