Trending This Week: ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’ Salesperson Are Out of Office...Indefinitely

July 27, 2018

Sir Paul McCartney at a Concert

Imagine if a stranger were to walk up to you and say, “Hello, male and/or female person, would you like to buy my stuff?” Not the best impression, right?

Unfortunately, the email equivalent — "Dear Sir or Madam" — is quite pervasive. While it’s been a standard way to address business communications for decades, this convention hasn’t aged well.

Unless a person is properly knighted like Sir Paul McCartney, do they actually want to be addressed as Sir? Madam is even less popular, for obvious reasons. The more general “To whom it may concern” won’t score you any points either.

B2B buyers now expect a more personalized experience. Messages should not only be appropriately addressed but also tailored to their circumstances. Fortunately, the information you need is likely available online via a quick search on the company’s website and on LinkedIn. Better yet, you could skip the email and send a personalized InMail, which can drive 300% higher response rates.

One way or another, putting in a little extra time and effort before reaching out will create a better first impression, especially if Sir Paul McCarthy is not on your lead list.

Trending content this week includes a post on why personalization matters in email salutations, as well as posts on how to suffer and succeed in sales.

Here’s What Sales Professionals Are Reading and Sharing This Week:

Why You Need to Stop Using 'Dear Sir or Madam' (And 9 Alternatives)

The average prospect receives 121 emails a day, many of which are unsolicited. That’s why your email needs to grab a reader's attention in less than 30 seconds. Addressing your email “Dear Sir or Madam” is not going to stop someone from hitting delete. After all, it’s like saying “Hi, I’m a stranger.” In this post, Meg Prater outlines other reasons why generic has got to go, and suggests alternative ways to address your prospecting messages.

5 Top Salespeople Share How They Get Out of Sales Slumps

All sales pros have slumps. The difference between a being a top performer and an average seller can be tied to how quickly one recovers from a sales setback. In this post, Sujan Patel highlights the wisdom of five sales leaders who have consistently rebounded from sales slumps. Check out the post to learn how you can find success after setbacks by never giving up, staying motivated, having the right mindset, seeking inspiration, and leaning on others for help.

How to Suffer in Sales

In this post, Anthony Iannarino highlights a few shortcuts to suffering in sales. Wishing that you had hot leads is a good one. Wishing that the sales process was easier is another. See the commonality there? Iannarino believes that the ultimate recipe for misery is wishing things were different that they are. Click through to find tips on altering your approach so you're set up for success instead of suffering.

Three Ways Sales Can Save Your Life

A career in sales isn't always Plan A for those who end up following the path, but often ends up feeling like a natural fit. Many can probably relate to this post by Ryan Serhant, who has found tremendous benefit in the opportunity, control, and life skills that come along with working in sales.

You Probably Won't Find the Skills Most Important to Success on a Résumé — Here are 21 Ways to Build Them

There are key attitudes and characteristics that help people play well with others. Whether you call these attributes “emotional intelligence” or “just being nice,” Shana Lebowitz shares a list of 21 (sometimes counterintuitive) ways you can improve your ability to understand and respond to the emotions of yourself and others. A few from the list include: Surrounding yourself with people who don’t agree with you, pretending to be humble, knowing what sets you off, and assigning someone as a loving critic. Emotional intelligence has been tied with success in personal and professional relationships, and can be a secret weapon in sales prospecting.

For more tips on personalizing your sales approach and recovering from a sales slump, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solution Blog.