Critical Sales Skill: Literacy – Business 2 Community

Reading is essential has been the mantra of a children’s literacy nonprofit of the same name. I am writing to the management team to suggest that they expand their services and offerings to sellers.

Like everyone else, I am inundated with emails and prospecting on social platforms. They fall into three categories:

  1. Less than 1% are relevant, interesting, and I’m following up for more.
  2. About 50% are irrelevant, fuzzy and just plain uninteresting. It’s usually not the best prose, but at least I get their point, no matter how bad it is.
  3. About 49% are illegible. It might be something I might be interested in, but they were written by people who probably failed third-grade writing classes. Below is the one I received this morning:

“Hi David, I hope you are well and have a good start to the new year and the first term. We invite people who share a similar background to an exclusive session below.

It’s good that EXCELLENC values ​​management consulting. I was reading news that there is a deadline for nominations and it is closing soon. I was going through it and hope to share more.

I’m David, Business Advisor, at [Name Withheld] Digital marketing. We have helped businesses similar to yours, and please accept [our invitation for an exclusive session (attached deck here) ] (link removed) for more information.

Have a wonderful rest of your week!”

Upon receiving this e-mail, I suspected that it was perhaps written in a language close to English, but not quite. Dutifully, I copied it, pasting it into Google Translate. Google came back with the same text. So apparently it was written in English – it was just illiterate and unintelligible.

A few comments :

  1. EXCELLENC is not a misspelling, it is part of our company email address (long story). But seeing the company name referred to in this way is always an indicator that the person has no idea who we are and what we do. Most likely they received the email from a list.
  2. We do value management consulting – less for ourselves, more to provide advisory services to clients facing difficult growth challenges. So I really don’t understand what the author is trying to communicate.
  3. Then there’s the line, “I was reading news that there is a deadline for nominations…….” Eh! I quickly went to Axios to see if they announced a deadline for nominations. The timelines were also not announced in the WSJ or the New York Times. I realized the news could be in my social media news feeds, I looked at my new LinkedIn feeds looking for deadlines for nominations. I have no idea what this person is trying to say. Applications for what? Are we nominated, should we seek nomination? Should we nominate someone for something? I have signed a petition for the appointment of a neighbor to our local community council – does he refer to this? What is he trying to tell me and why do I care?
  4. It is interesting that it represents the services of a digital marketing agency. I wonder why I need to go through any game to register. But more importantly, my experience with digital marketing agencies is that they tend to provide digital content to generate interest. And I suspect this email is an example of the quality and clarity with which they provide this content.
  5. This is the third email I have received from David. Each is exactly the same, each is unreadable.

Unfortunately, 49% of the prospecting emails I receive are unreadable. Maybe these are things I might be interested in, if only I could understand what they are saying.

Reading and writing are fundamental, if you are unintelligible you will fail. Consider taking a class or maybe signing up for Reading Is Fundamental literacy programs (lie about your age on the sign up form).

About Dora Kohler

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