Don’t make this school boy error in your email engagements…


I received the following unsolicited e-mail from an inside sales person at a marketing agency today.  Maybe the Super moon is making me a little grumpy (more so than usual), but this is how it made me feel:
You: Hi Simon,
Me: (Hi, who are you?)

You: I hope you are well.
Me: (Really?  The insincerity is already starting to irritate me)
You: I am hoping to find the appropriate person who handles marketing operations at Ember Services.
Me:  (You may very well be, but I don’t understand what for – what are you offering that will help us – you’re supposed to be in marketing!)

You: Could you possibly steer me in the right direction?
Me: (Well I could, but you haven’t explained to me why I should and the direction I might steer you in may not be the direction you want to go in – on reflection probably not)
You: Best,
Me: (I’m now left wondering whether you just couldn’t be bothered to write ‘regards’ or ‘thank you in advance’ or ‘hope that would be ok’, or whether your blanket email merge failed to incorporate the full sign off properly. Either way your ‘best’ is not good enough).
End of message.
What could have been an interesting and mutually beneficial connection has left me feeling annoyed that I am being asked to do all the work to help him to help me – and I don’t even know why! Maybe this is how the new generation of sales people will engage with me; perhaps he is predisposed to save characters in the message (which was an e-mail) and forgot to include the substance of what he wanted to tell me.
A good product is important of course in sales, but people still buy people and this type of short form message approach doesn’t work.  In a world of so few real connections, being relevant and creating real connections is as important as ever.
I consciously take an interest in my customers – I do want to know about their weekend, how the family are doing, how their football team did at the weekend. Yes I want them to want to work with me and us, but first and foremost I do my job because I am interested in people, interested in helping people to improve their organisations, and I genuinely believe we have an awesome team that can make a difference.
So, if you want me or my colleagues at Ember to work with you, please try harder to try and engage with me, understand our needs and challenges and convince me why you are a credible partner to engage with, to help us, and to make a difference. We do!
Simon Foot
Ember Group Development Director