You Lost Me At “Hello”!

C Ya LaterToday I received yet another poorly written sales solicitation message in my in-box. The opening sentence told me all I needed to know abut the person that sent me the message – he does not know how to write. He lost me at “Hello”.
Here’s the message…
I wanted to reach out to see if we could briefly discuss how you use documents within your sales operations”.

Reaching Out…
I wanted to…” What does this mean? Is the writer trying to tell me that he wanted to “reach out” but had second thoughts? Is he trying to tell me that he wanted to reach out (whatever that means) and decided some other way to make contact with me? I don’t get it…
I would have responded positively to this:I’m contacting you to see if we could have a conversation about an annoying problem I solve for small business owners”?

“How you use documents…”
Huh? How we use documents as opposed to what – stone tablets? What kind of documents? The problem with this snippet is that there is no specificity as to to the meaning behind why this person is writing me, leaving it up to me to interpret his meaning of “documents”. I’m busy – not a chance…

What you say vs. What you write
The problem most people have articulating themselves in the written word is that they write like they speak. It doesn’t work. What you write and how you speak are two different means of expressing your point. When you speak you are communicating in one form. When you write you are communicating your ideas in a different form. Be aware of this at all times. What you say is NOT how you should write!
When you try to articulate and transpose your speech into the written word, the correspondence loses some of its effervescence, and your words end up ‘tasting’ like flat soda.
The written word lacks emotion. It lacks energy and it lacks delivery. So… if you are writing like you speak there is a very good chance that your words will not carry the energy it needs to to get your message across and have it understood in its intended terms.

Write what you mean – Mean what you write!
In today’s inattentive world you need to keep your written messages simple, and get to the point quickly. Attention ‘evaporates’ at room temperature, disappearing in an instant.
Think of Twitter – 140 characters to make your point. When you write avoid using any cliche sales rhetoric. Sound like a salesman pitching product and you’ll lose them at Hello every time.

If you solve a problem, then simply explain the problem you solve and in as few words as possible and ask for the attention of your sales prospect to determine the possible fit for the solution you provide. Cut to the chase and you won’t lose them at “Hello”!


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