7 Pitfalls of Using Email to Sell

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7 Pitfalls of Using Email to Sell

By: Ari Galper

Are you sending e-mails to prospects instead of calling them?

Is e-mail your selling medium of choice because it lets you avoid the rejection that you dread when you make real cold calls?

Do you wait and wait for return e-mails from prospects that will give you the green light to move the sales process forward?

Sad but true, these days most people who sell for a living spend 80% of their time trying to communicate with prospects via e-mail instead of actually picking up the phone and speaking with them. Are you one of those people? If so, you aren't alone...but do you understand why you've turned to e-mail instead of personal contact? I think there are 2 core reasons that underlie this unfortunate trend:

  • Fear of rejection. The sheer negative force of anticipating rejection makes people turn to e-mail to generate new prospect relationships because it hurts less to not get a reply than to hear that verbal 'no.'
  • Getting blocked by gatekeepers and voicemail. When salespeople don't know how to break through the barriers of gatekeepers and voicemail, they start thinking, 'Forget it -- it's not worth the aggravation, and it takes too much energy. I'll just e-mail instead.'

However, when you try to use e-mail to offer your product or service to someone who doesn't know you, you can't possibly establish the natural dialogue between two people that allows the trust level to reach the level necessary for a healthy, long-term relationship.

We all know how much everyone hates e-mail spam, but even so, many salespeople are still sending introductory e-mails to decisionmakers. They feel that, because they're from a credible organization, they won't be associated with the negative image of a spam solicitor.

However, these introductory e-mails typically contain the traditional three-part sales pitch -- the introduction, a mini-presentation about the products and services being offered, and a call to action -- and this traditional selling approach instantly tells the recipient of the e-mail that your only goal is to sell your product or service so you can attain your goals, and not theirs.

If you're still using email to sell, watch out for these 7 pitfalls:

  1. Avoid sales pitches. If you feel you must use e-mail to start a new relationship, make your message about issues and problems that you believe your prospects are having, but don't say anything to indicate that you're assuming that both of you are a match.
  2. Stop thinking that e-mail is the best way to get to decisionmakers. Traditional selling has become so ineffective that salespeople have run out of options for creating conversation, both over the phone and in person. However, it's best to view e-mail as a backup option only, not as a way to create new relationships. Try to use it primarily for sending information and documents after you've developed a relationship with a prospect.
  3. Remove your company name from the subject line. Whenever you put your company and solution first, you create the impression that you can't wait to give a presentation about your product and services. Your subject line should be a humble reference to issues that you may be able to help prospects solve.
  4. Stop conditioning your prospects to hide behind e-mail. When you e-mail prospects, it's easy for them to avoid you by not responding. Also, they get used to never picking up the phone and having a conversation with you -- and they may want to avoid you because they're afraid that, if they show interest in what you have to offer, you'll try to close them. This creates sales pressure -- the root of all selling woes. This avoidance becomes a vicious circle. If you learn to create pressure-free conversations, you'll find that you'll start getting phone calls from prospects who aren't afraid to call you.
  5. Avoid using e-mail as a crutch for handling sticky sales situations. Are prospects not calling you back? Many salespeople who call me for coaching ask how they can get themselves out of sticky situations with prospects -- but the e-mails they've sent have already triggered those prospects to retreat. It's tricky to come up with the correct softening language in an e-mail that will re-open a conversation with a prospect who has decided to close off communication --direct, person-to-person phone calls or meetings are much easier and more human.
  6. Avoid using 'I' and 'we.' When you start an introductory e-mail with 'I' or 'we,' you immediately give the impression that you care only about selling your solution, rather than being open to a conversation that may or may not lead to a mutually beneficial match between what you have to offer and the issues your prospect may be trying to solve. If you can change your sales language to a natural conversation, your prospect will be less likely to stereotype your message as a spam solicitation.


  7. If you can, stop using e-mail selling altogether. There is a way to renew your confidence and eliminate your reluctance to picking up the phone and have pleasant conversations with potential prospects. Learn a completely new way of working with gatekeepers that will get you past voicemail and to your decisionmakers without the rejection and frustration that are inevitable with traditional selling approaches.

For all these reasons, you should think of e-mail as your last resort. If you can learn to pick up the phone without fear, start a trusting conversation with a gatekeeper, learn how to go beyond voice mail and find your decisionmakers, you'll join the thousands of people who have made the Unlock The Game" breakthrough the most natural and efficient way of generating sales opportunities.

About The Author

Ari Galper is the founder of Unlock The Game", the only selling program completely focused on eliminating pressure from the sales process. His best-selling Unlock The Game" Self-Study Program continues to make in-roads in the U.S., UK, Australia and Canada. Visit http://www.UnlockTheGame.com to take a Free Test Drive!


Tink 09.11.2008. 19:34

I want to buy an ipod off ebay - what should I be careful of? I dont know a thing about ipods - what should I consider?


Admin 09.11.2008. 19:34

Since you do not know a thing about Ipods; you are better off going to a store and letting the clerks demo a rew of them for you. Take your time; go to a few different stores; talk to a few different clerks and learn and be informed before you purchase.
Sinc you do not say where your interests lay and Ipods do so many different things it would be too long of an answer.
I considered an Ipod but I needed a cell phone, too and I had heard too many negative things about the Iphone to consider it.
I wound up getting a Blackberry Curve for Free after rebate because the new ones are coming out.
I got the Sprint Anything plan for 99 a month and I have internet; GPS with maps and directions and verbal commands; plays MP3s; download and play movies or videos; record voice messages; take pictures and videos; and get my email; and all services are one price.
I get excellent reception every where I go except in deep buildings and in hevy construction like hospitals.
My cost was 99.00 plus the monthlies.
I don't use all of it but I am learning.
All the music I play is free because I am old enough to enjoy what is out in the public domain. I don't have to have today's hits. They are not being written for me anyway.
I can plug it in to my car stereo, and it has Bluetooth capabilities.
I am quite pleased with it.
Ebay has it's pitfalls. If you are not savvy to them you need to bone up before you go there.
Unless you buy brand new electronics you have little comeback if they fail, and unless you know your weller you run the risk of getting an oped box which may or may not work.
It is worth it to me to have the full warranty and an extended warranty on products of this type because of their failure rate and the unreliability of buying electronics on Ebay.
I sold electronics for Staples for more than 7 years and I always get the extended warranty on anything over 300.clams.


Trina Sampkins 17.09.2012. 16:17

Selling on Ebay. Important things to consider? Was going to sell something on ebay for the first time. For anyone experienced with selling on there could you please give me a guide of all the most important things to consider when selling?

I would be using paypal too to recieve money.

Trina Sampkins

Admin 17.09.2012. 16:17

Some of the most important things to consider:

1. PayPal will put a 21 day hold on your money when you get paid. This hold may come off sooner if the buyer leaves positive feedback or you can prove delivery.

2. You must provide on line tracking when shipping. Fail to do so and the customer can claim they never received it and get their money back.

3. Shipping out of your country is risky. Never ship to Nigeria, South America, the former Soviet Republic countries, or Italy. In many of these countries customs workers are less than honest and things go missing often. Nigeria is the land of the scammers.

4. Use your own photos. Taking other peoples pictures can get your listing shut down.

5. Describe EVERYTHING even slightly wrong with your item. Buyers don't like surprises. If it has a tiny scratch then say so. "Good condition" means different things to different people.

6. Have a clear and precise return policy. Sooner or later someone will ask to return something.

7. Realize that a hundred other people are trying to sell the same item. Use the description area wisely to make your item more desirable than your competitors. This often requires talent/imagination.

8. Offer a variety of shipping methods. People will often take the cheapest method but not always.

9. Realize that as a seller you can NOT leave negative feedback but the buyer can.

10. Do careful research on your item and see what it is reasonably selling for. Search through the completed listings. Don't start your listing at a price no one is going to pay.

There are many pitfalls for sellers. Even when you do everything right there can be problems. There are far too many children on eBay and they often 'change their minds' about a purchase. Many try to make excuses like 'my little brother did it' or 'my cat walked on the keyboard and it bid'. Beware any trying to make side deals.

ALWAYS communicate through eBay's message system, not through private emails. Some will try to threaten you into giving them a better price and if you don't they claim they will leave negative feedback. You need to be able to prove what they say and you can't do that with private emails.


answergrrl 16.08.2006. 21:43

Is a mortgage refinance right for us? Pitfalls? We have lived in our house for 3.5 years and plan to purchase a new home in 1.5-2 years. Our mortgage is 6.25 30 year fixed. We took on a 2nd mortgage about a year ago to pay off debt. Now we want to refinance and roll the two together with our existing car loans and credit card, so we can fix any credit problems, make payments easily, etc. so it will be easier to buy the next house. The new rate being offerred is 6.95%. Our mortgage payments will be $400 more, but we will be saving an additional $400 in monthly payments. We figure our credit will improve greatly. We were worried about paying down a credit card "over 30 years", but the refinancing co. reasoned that we will only have this "bigger" mortgage payment and interest rate for the next couple of years; it's the mortgage for the new house we need to be concerned about. (And by doing this, we will improve our credit and chances for a better mortgage next time.)

Hope that's enough info. for detailed info on pitfalls of refi.
Thanks for the replies so far. Here's more info:

Mortgage: 180K
2nd: 30K 15 year fixed at 9%
Credit cards: 8K at 21%
Auto loan: 7K at 8%
Home value: approx. $255K (conservative).
Mortgage payments + current loans = 2400/month.
Refi payment would be 2000, incl. closing costs, taxes, insurance, etc.

We could pay off credit cards by the time we want to move, using bonuses, etc. but right now it is hard to make payments on time.

P.S. I can't do the math figuring the percentages over time, etc. I am just awful at it and my head is already spinning!


Admin 16.08.2006. 21:43

The thing that matters most is like you said what will be best for you knowing that you are moving into a new house in 2 years...

A refinance to clean up credit makes ALOT OF SENSE!!!

The new rate is actually lower then what you have now...Even though you have a 6.5%, your 2nd mortgage is probably i assume in the 8% or higher range???

So, interest alone is less with the new mortgage..

Also, the main thing to look at , and as a mortgage loan officer i hear it SO MUCH, is the "paying credit cards over 30 years"...


You KNOW you are moving in 2 years... All you are doing is tapping into your equity now, the same way you would if you sold your house and used your equity to pay the credit cards...

The thing to remember is that NO ONE takes out a 30 year mortgage, and stays with it for the full 30 years!!!

The average homeowner sells or refinances a mortgage every 5-7 years!!

Also, how much are your credit cards? Lets say $10k...Now is it really ACCURATE to say it will take 30 years to pay that $10k in credit cards???????????

If you think about it, it will probably only take 2-3 years to have that $10k paid off, so when someone says they dont want to extend credit cards over a 30 year mortgage, it doesn't make any sense.....

Also, to tie everything together...Even if you do pay more money, more interest now, and for the next 2 years until you move, you are doing it for a reason..

To get your credit back up, so that your new house can qualify for a lower rate OBVIOUSLY makes paying a higher rate for 2 years worth while...

Now you wil lhave hte critics say ITS NOT A GOOD IDEA...but the fact is everyone in america are in different situations financially... What makes sense for you may NOT make sense for someone else...


currently, your needs (as you have expressed) are to clean up your credit so that you qualify for a better rate in the future... That is what matters!

Also, i wanted to say that you may be able to get a lower rate then 6.95%... I work with Providential Bancorp, we are a nationwide wholesale lender...

I have been qualifying borrowers at as little as 6.5% on a 30 year... The difference between the 6.95%, and the 6.5% can mean alot of money in your pocket..

Also, being that my company banks all of our loans in house, we have lower fee's then your average bank or mortgage brokerage...

Because most mortgage companies are a middle man, they have to charge extra fee's in order to make a profit on a loan...

They also have to give you a higher rate then you qualify for in order to make profit as well (then investor they use will pay them to give you a higher rate then you actually qualify for)

What i suggest is that you do your due dilligence, and make sure you are getting the best offer...

Feel free to call me and i would be happy to give you an analisys... My name is Jason Fry, you can reach me directly at 312-264-6448, or email me at jasonf@providential.com..

Good luck and i hope this helps! Call at any time!

Jason Fry
Licensed Mortgage Originator
Providential Bancorp


Aaron 20.07.2006. 11:19

whats up with e-bay ....is it international ??? can it be trusted ?? im from romania and im wondering if i can buy or sell something from www.e-bay.com ?? and can this site be trusted ..i mean do i get what i buy ?? ..and when do i pay it ?? how does is it shiped here ...by mail ??? thanks


Admin 20.07.2006. 11:19

well, yes, the site is trustworthy, but not all the people who sell on it (or buy on it) are. Most are honest. Probably 99 percent.

if the seller is honest, you get what you buy.

It is easiest, and safest for YOU to pay using PAYPAL because then there is a record that YOU PAID FOR THE ITEM - a record that the eBay company trusts.

many sellers will require that you pay for insurance because that way THEY have a record that they mailed the item.

you pay after you win the item; most sellers will email you an invoice. usually you must pay within 10 days. some sellers tell you they expect to be paid in 3 days or 7 days.

Most items are shipped by mail.

i have no idea how reliable the various mail systems are between the US and Romania, or between other countries and Romania.

NOW - can eBay be trusted?
Sort of. most of the time. it is a legit company. It says that it protects the sellers and the buyers equally, but there are some lawsuits out there because people bought expensive items that never showed up. those people think eBay did not adequately protect the buyer.

since you are new to eBay, it might be safest to start with something inexpensive, not expensive jewelry till you see how it works and what the possible pitfalls are.


Pineapple 03.06.2010. 02:36

Is buying treasuries on margin a viable investment strategy? What could go wrong here? This looks like a great risk / reward opportunity, but what pitfalls exist?

Interactive Broker's highest margin rate is 1.7% (http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/accounts/fees/interest.php)

Their margin requirement for US Treasuries with 20+ years to maturity is 9% of the market value of the securities. (http://individuals.interactivebrokers.com/en/p.php?f=margin&ib_entity=llc)

The current yield of a 20 - 30 yr Treasuries is about 4%.

Using this data, I can buy $100,000 of 30yr Treasuries yielding 4% for $9,000 (margin) and a $91,000 loan at 1.7%.

Quick math shows this will yield greater than 20% on margin, after fees.

So why isn't everyone doing it? Here's problems I can think of:

1. Interest rates go up, margin rates go up, strategy becomes less profitable.
2. Interest rates go up, market value of bonds goes down, losses are possible.
3. ???

If interest rates go down than no problem. This will mean lower margin rates and higher market values of debt. (Interest rates won't go much lower, anyway.)

But even with these risks, I think this investment could be much more easily monitored than a similar investment in stocks. This is definitely MUCH easier than managing a stock portfolio expected to return 20%. And I think the risk of loss is a lot less. If the market starts to move against you, then just give up the great return and sell the bonds.

What am I missing here???

Here is the "quick math"
In one year:
4% yield on 100k = $4000
1.7% interest on 91,000 = $1600
total return = 2,400
return on margin is 2400/9000 or > 20%


Admin 03.06.2010. 02:36

I looked at IB's website, and to be frankly honest I don't understand their gabledy gok. Your example above looks great. But my guess is that it simply can't be done. Most brokers on a stock or commodity account will charge you at least 6% or 7% per annum. There is no way that IB would lend you 91% of the purchase price of the treasuries at only 1.7% interest, even if it is tied to the LIBOR or another index. You are absolutely right, if that were true, then everybody and his brother would be doing it. But then again, call them and tell them that's what you want to do. If they allow you to do it, then the downside is that you must liquidate the account when the interest should rise to 4%, or you will be in negative territory multiplied by 11. But by golly, please don't forget to send me a private email, so I also can get on the gravy train.

Oh yes, I almost forgot when interest rates raise that much, your 20 year treasuries can no longer be sold at 100% of face value. How does your example look if you then have to sell at 90% or 85% of face value?


TryingMyBest 30.06.2009. 07:27

Modify? Re-Fi? Wait for ARM to roll into new APR? We are underwater on our mortgage - we owe $252K and could probably sell our home for maybe $230K. We have excellent FICOs (770+), have never been late, never missed a payment. Our current interest rate is 4.85%. We have no second (HELOC). We took out a 7-year "ARM" that is due to "roll over" to prime plus 4% in Sept. 2010. Our lender is BofA (e.g., Countrywide at the time of purchase).

We have received free legal opinions from a real estate attorney. Our understanding is we have one of three choices: 1) Modify (if the bank will let us, which is not likely, we?re told); 2) Re-finance (it does not look like this is an option, as our home has no equity whatsoever and we don?t want to ?pay up? equity); and, 3) Wait for our ARM to roll over in 09/10 (which will happen regardless).

We want to do the right thing, but when the ARM rolls over, our payment will absolutely skyrocket. Do we have ANY recourse to MAKE the bank work with us? We have no problem with the current payment and interest, and of course are willing to pay more, but NOT prime plus 4%, which would be astronomical.

Are there "magic" words we should use, or a "magic" address I could use to write to BofA to claim hardship? I am so tired of having undocumented, unsuccessful phone calls where I am transferred here, there, and everywhere with NO fruitful answers. Thank you so much in advance!


Admin 30.06.2009. 07:27

You definitely should NOT wait for the arm to mature to do something. Refinance is a problem because of your negative equity, but you may be able to qualify for a loan modification. While it is possible to negotiate directly with your lender, there are several reasons why it is generally not recommended. There are many pitfalls that can cause your modification attempts to go awry. If something is done wrong, or handled improperly it can severely damage your chances of obtaining a modification. So, you may want to consider getting assistance with it.

Send me an email if you would like more in depth information. I can pre-qualify you at absolutely no cost and let you know what your chances are.

God bless!


domsers 26.04.2008. 02:47

Is there any difference with whom you register your domain name?Why pay $20 if you can get it for $9?Any diff? There is big difference how much WEB domain name costs depending upon who is selling it. What difference does it make for me from whom I buy it? Should I go for cheapest? Are there any known risks? I was looking at Verio.com who asks $9.95/year. I read some reviews and they appear to be legit company, but WEB hosting isn?t very reliable. Should I worry about it? I don?t need hosting, I have reliable hosting, but they charge quite a lot for domain name registration, so I would buy domain name from cheaper place, but host it somewhere else. Any pitfalls? Any suggestion who has great price and relyable service?
I am looking at HostOtter.com. Seems excellent price $6.95. Has anybody any opinion?


Admin 26.04.2008. 02:47

If you want to start your website I recommend purchase your domain and hosting together. In this way it is possible to get your domain for free. Some hosting services offer this gift today.

As an experienced webmaster I recommend BlueHost service which I?m sure it would work for you and fulfill all your requirements. They have a really great offer for hosting & I have used them for over 3 yrs now, and have never had a single problem with them.

They are a Multi-awarded Web Hosting which offer a Full-featured service only $6.95 a month. Their service is really perfect and uptime.

You can go there through the address below:

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They offer an installing service called "Fantastico". By using this service, you can easily create your own forum, photo gallery, shopping carts etc. They also offer "Free Site Builder" that helps you build your web pages without difficulty if you are not skilled in using any creating website programs. (WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get)

* This service was awarded as the best Web Host 2008.
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Good Luck!


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