How One Minor Detail Screwed Up an Otherwise Spectacular Sales Message

One small typo in an email to prospects is cause for deletion. Follow these tips to ensure your hard work in sales lead generation is rewarded not wasted.

November 11, 2015


I recently received an email from a sales professional. It was almost perfect. Almost.

  • She captured my attention with a to-the-point, personalized headline
  • It was relevant. There was value in her offer, and I could make the decision to buy what she was offering
  • She did her research. She identified commonalities we shared, and used information from my LinkedIn profile to drive the intro of her message

But then she lost me, and it wasn't because of anything she said. Allow me to explain.

In the second paragraph of her message, she was still talking as if the message were written just for me. "Because I know how much you value...," it read. The problem is the font-size changed. The paragraph was clearly copied and pasted from a template. That slightest hint of deception was all I needed to hit the delete button.

The sad part is I'm certain I would not have noticed the copy and paste job if the font size remained the same. All that research, including the time she took to craft a personalized headline and intro, was wasted.

Your sales prospects are actively trying to find reasons to ignore your messages. If you can’t take the time to remove errors from your messages, how can prospects trust you to handle the critical details of their business?

You work too hard at sales lead generation to let minor details derail your efforts. Performing the following two activities can ensure your hard work is rewarded rather than wasted:

  1. Edit Ruthlessly and Optimize for Readability

But even the best editors make errors in the first draft. One trick seasoned writers use to catch typos and awkward phrases is to read the message out loud.

Continually ask yourself, “How can this message be clearer, more concise, more compelling?” This activity will help you scrutinize each sentence, remove needless words, and reorganize your thoughts. Take advantage of smaller paragraphs and sentences to make it easier for your prospect to read, digest, and take action.

Once everything looks good, read it one last time. This will feel like overkill at first, but when your response rate increases, you will be glad this is part of your process. And while you give your message that final inspection…

  1. Read it From Your Prospect's Perspective

Ask yourself these three questions to craft more messages that inspire a response.

  • Will this message quickly capture my prospect’s attention?
  • Have I done enough to personalize my message?
  • Am I providing enough value to inspire a response?

There are few things that excite sales pros more than seeing “Re:” in the inbox. Creating checks and balances in your sales lead generation process is a simple strategy that can lead to a fuller, healthier pipeline.

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