5 Phrases That Poison Sales Prospecting Emails

Salespeople who want to strengthen their sales prospecting email technique often seek advice. That’s a good thing. Whether you’re using LinkedIn InMail or standard email when prospecting new business, I know what you’re after: response from potential buyers.

These empty phrases make you sound:

  • common (spammy)
  • pushy (typically the ask is too big, too soon)
  • desperate

Yes, desperate. Many of my most successful students last year are targeting the word “please” for elimination — and finding new ways to strengthen their tone.

Be Pithy, a Little Odd and Slow It Down

Few of us mind messages from a stranger. Especially short, pithy missives. We’ll make a quite reply to surprisingly different notes. Odd emails. Also, human beings are easily provoked by messages that seem valuable.

Thus, go for a reaction, not a conversation. Slow it down. Don’t rush the meeting. Don’t ask for one at all!

Make your message potentially valuable. Let the reader smell it — without fully tasting.

Avoid attempts at being obviously valuable. I know, you’ve probably heard it’s important to do so … to present obvious value. But this can, on a cold approach, sabotage. Instead, help them think, “Hmm … this is potentially worth hitting reply and learning more about.”

That’s the trick. This creates (good) tension. Copywriters refer to this kind of technique as an “open loop.”

Overall, the idea is to help prospects qualify (or disqualify) themselves faster via email (as compared to phone).

Here’s what it looks like:

  • Use email as a means to grab attention, spark curiosity. Both are important pieces.
  • Once you have that curiosity keep it going. Once the customer replies asking for more details give a few more — but only enough detail to temporarily satisfy their curiosity.
  • This “give-and-take” can span two to five or even seven emails. Within this series of messages create tension — wherein the customer is tempted to short-circuit the email exchange and request a meeting.

Thus, an exchange of emails is a faster way to qualify the customer. The potential buyer qualifies themselves — via email — rather than wasting your precious time on the phone.

Trust me your prospects don’t care how polite you are. However, they do care about tone. Sounding like a marketer is a sure-fire way to get deleted. But otherwise your email is just another cold email message from a stranger.

So make your email surprising. Different. Odd. Potentially valuable. Provocative!

There are good reasons why your cold email and InMail messages aren’t earning response from potential buyers.

Formatting is important. No doubt. Brief, blunt and basic email approaches are essential. But beyond formatting basics word choice is increasingly important to earning response with sales prospecting email messages.

What has your experience been?

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

8 thoughts on “5 Phrases That Poison Sales Prospecting Emails”

  1. Dan, Very informative post. I believe in this concept very much. I will send you something via your page so that you can provide some input. Thanks. Great post!

  2. Great Read Jeff. Really enjoyed it. Will keep several of your recommendations in mind. I do a lot of email marketing for my company and my clients and always appreciate a good idea. Thanks.

  3. This is great info, Jeff! I learned to eliminate those wasteful phrases when I was prospecting through LInkedIn. You only get so many words, so why waste them on meaningless introductions and apologies?

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