It’s time to address your sad, sad new business emails, it is indeed.

Although I hope they’re not literally your emails, because if you’re sending out messages like the ones I lay out below, it’s time to recalibrate.

We all get the generic, cute, and ineffective emails from salespeople, but I got one this week that was just irritating.  It was like that Seinfeld episode where several characters speak about themselves in the third person.

Specifically George.

That was me: LEE IS GETTING UPSET!!!

And it was really just this first line from the email:

Lee,

I’m in back to back meetings all day, but I wanted to take the time to send over a quick intro.

May seem harmless?  Perhaps.

But what irked me to no end was the sense of self-importance this guy has. Or is trying to project at least.

Hey buddy, I don’t know you and while it’s quite something that you’re in meetings all day, I’m not impressed and I don’t care. Stop wasting my time.

The sales tactic here is apparently, “I’m very important and busy, but I have deigned to grant you a few moments of my time. Bow!  BOW BEFORE ME!”

OK, I’m overacting, but in all seriousness, don’t use tactics like this in your prospecting.  It’s condescending.

Since we’re here (if you’re still here), a few more for your consideration.

This one didn’t fire me up, I just don’t think it works. This is the last line of the sales email:

Can you set aside 15 minutes from your busy schedule for an intro call next week?

Why point out the obvious?  You are correct, my schedule is busy, everyone’s is busy, and again, I find this a bit condescending.

More importantly, this person is essentially doing the opposite of the previous email: rather than coming across as a pompous ass, this salesperson is ending the email in a position of weakness.

Don’t ruin a good email by trying to make your prospect feel sorry for you.

It was actually a really good sales email up to that point, but then at the very end, I got a whiff of Dobby the Elf desperation.

And finally, a final example from the sad, sad emails files, here’s one from an aesthetic standpoint:

Don’t highlight what you feel are important points throughout your email in different colors.

Like this (and I took out real names):

This is just a hot mess.  Don’t do it.

I’ve touched on this topic previously, and in pointing out all of the above, I’m definitely not trying to put myself out there as the master of emails, far from it, but it’s always good to take a step back and look at what you’re sending and how it might be coming across.

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Lee McKnight Jr
VP of Sales at RSW/US
I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.