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Avoid the dreaded delete button

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Are you frustrated with your sales prospecting results? Are your phone and email messages delivering minimal returns? If so, I have a solution for you, and it’s very simple: Stop writing messages that are filled with delete-inducing words.

For example, using an adverb or adjective to describe your products is almost guaranteed to get you deleted. I’m talking about keywords such as “leading edge,” “state of the art” and “award-winning.” Delete! If you sell services, don’t use words such “passion for excellence,” “out of the box,” “innovative” or “creative.” Delete!

Don’t talk about what your company specializes in either. For example, if I say, “We specialize in sales training for people who are selling to the corporate market,” 95 percent of people will delete my message. Why? Because they’re already working with another company, or they don’t think they need such training right now.

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Don’t say that you’d love to get together to learn more about their company. From their perspective, that’s a total waste of their time. Don’t tell them your company’s name. It’s irrelevant to your prospect—especially if you’re from a small no-name company. And don’t tell them your position in the company. They don’t care that you are a new accounts manager.

If you have any hope of getting your value proposition across, your email must survive those crucial first few seconds after your prospect opens it. So avoid the words most likely to make your prospect reach for the delete key—and your message might just be received.

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 Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.