email“Hi! I’m (name) and I’d like to tell you about all the great services I offer here at Company ABC!”

Have you ever gotten an email like this from someone trying to sell you their services? It’s rarely the kind of communication you like to receive because you didn’t sign up for it. But the funny part is, they may actually have something you want to buy…but what that “thing” is could be buried down deep in a long list of services that you don’t have the time or energy to wade through to find. You delete the email in no time because, let’s face it – it’s just not worth it to read.

Now think about this from your end. When you reach out to prospective customers, are you launching into stories of all the people you’ve helped far too soon in the process? Or are you aiming to start a conversation based on a potential “pain” they might be feeling? Small lead-ins and questions that take up no more than a paragraph may be much more effective.

Where do you start?
Think about the biggest headaches that your customer has conveyed to you about their kitchen or bathroom. What misconceptions do they have? What causes them stress about that room? What do they think it costs to fix the problem? Using some of these common traits you find that they say, incorporate that into your lead-in, such as: “Many of the homeowners I’ve worked with in your area think countertop refinishing may cost thousands of dollars more than it actually does. However, I’ve found that when I tell them the actual price and timeframe, they’re shocked to learn how little it requires.”

You’ve just spoken to two potential pains – money and time. They’re not only concerned about cost but also about the disruption to their daily life that they’d have to experience.

Plus, if you focus on one small area of the kitchen or bathroom with the topic of refinishing, they’re likely to see this as an easier, more manageable conversation. You’re not going to go into a meeting or call selling thousands of options. You’re focused on one option. And even though everyone likes to make a sale, it’s important that you not come off as overly aggressive in attempting to make one. Instead, position yourself and the conversation as one where you are aiming to give the homeowner great clarity on the subject. This helps bring down some “walls” that the prospect might have and be more forthcoming with their concerns and desires.

Contrast this with the person who talks about a “laundry list” of services. What’s the prospect’s first thought? “This aggressive time waster is going to try to get me to buy everything he’s selling and run up a fortune.”

OK, but what if they really do want to hear more?
Believe it or not, you have to be careful here too. Don’t assume that wanting to hear more is the same as wanting to hear everything and then some. Resisting the urge to tell someone about all you offer, all your tools, all your success stories and more is extremely difficult. Especially when it’s a person who actually conveys that they’d like to hear more!

Still, even in the event that you think you may have an interested customer, remember to respect their time. You want to find out the most important challenges and concerns they have so you can point them to the very best solutions. When you’re giving them endless options, you’re not guiding. You’re potentially confusing them.

So be the expert who listens instead of lists. Start your conversations, including the email ones, with a provocative question or two that has the goal of getting a response. Then you respond back with a little more information and so on.

Keep your goal of the first impression manageable.
It’s great if you achieve a sale through this back-and-forth email communication, but a more realistic goal is to schedule a phone call or a meeting in person with a specific date in the coming week or two. Rare is the kind of person who is so ready to buy right now.

When you keep that type of “first step” goal as your next step, you’ll be amazed how you don’t have to press so hard to make a sale. You’ll be more at ease. And chances are, so will your prospect.