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Overcome this crippling barrier to email success
👉 you might think this helps you...but it doesn't
Something I hear a lot from people struggling to be consistent with their emails - and struggling to have an impact - is this perceived need to be serious.
To be businesslike in every email.
And a corresponding fear of writing more casually. Of drawing analogies with their favourite TV show, telling a joke or confessing to their mistakes.
It seems to come from a perception that senior clients are always businesslike. Always to the point. Focused on ROI.
And in my experience they are...
...when they're dealing with vendors.
But when they're talking to peers and friends that mask comes down.
These days I tend to work only with small businesses and sole practitioners. But back when I was doing face-to-face consulting I worked with senior execs in some of the world's biggest companies.
Often the discussions that built your relationship weren't in meeting rooms looking at slides or spreadsheets. They were over coffee or dinner or drinks.
The conversation bounced from business to sport to TV to art to whatever they happened to be interested in and care about.
They brought all those interests and influences to bear in the way they thought about work. And if you were able to tell an interesting story or draw a useful analogy they valued that.
Of course, you had to demonstrate you knew what you were talking about first. And that they could trust you.
But once you passed that hurdle, you got to see that they were as human as the rest of us.
They grilled vendors on the ROI they'd get. But with partners, they bounced ideas, listened to interesting stories, laughed, paused, told you what they really thought and what they worried about.
I'd much rather be a partner than a vendor. That's why my emails don't just focus on sharing valuable information. I try to do it in a way that's interesting. That helps readers feel they have a real relationship with me.
I'm sure it doesn't work for everyone. There'll always be people who just want to see you as a vendor and just want facts and figures and data and pure business stuff from you.
But the people more likely to buy from you want value and a human connection.
And, frankly, what kind of life is it to be businesslike all the time? I'd rather sell a bit less and be free to be me (but I'm sure it helps me sell more).
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