“Please send an offer by email” is one of the worst sentences a salesperson can hear. For many, it means one thing - the end of the conversation and a missed opportunity. But is that really the case? And what should be done to ensure that the client actually opens the offer and, above all, wants to read it? Discover the most common mistakes, avoid them, and learn how to use an emailed offer to your advantage.
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During sales training, participants often complain that clients are notorious for dispassionately saying “please email me your offer” as an excuse to end the conversation. When you’re talking to someone’s assistant, this happens in about 80% of cases. Very often, even when you send an offer - especially a non-specific offer - the client either has no time to read it, or doesn’t intend to do so at all, and simply stops answering the phone. At the same time, when you send a specific offer with a quote, the whole thing suddenly loses momentum - the offer gets forwarded to someone higher up, and... there’s no time to read it anyway. The more offers you send by email, the more often you find yourself in this situation, and instead of your sales, it’s your frustration that grows. Does it have to be this way? No! However, to change this situation you need to start by changing the ineffective assumptions that are so common among sales representatives, advisors, and specialists, regardless of their industry. Here are the most important ones:
1. The client is trying to get rid of you
Clients don’t only ask you to send an offer by email because they want to ‘get rid of you’. To the contrary. Just as often, clients ask because you aren’t running the sales conversation very well, and the client isn’t getting anything out of it - certainly not any specifics! When I am on the client side myself, I so often hear vague generalisations about ‘savings’, ‘increased profits’, the ‘highest quality’, and so on - nothing particularly specific. To find out what exactly is going on, I need an email. This is one of the main reasons why clients want you to send an offer. The second reason is that the client doesn’t know anything about you, and a general offer can help them familiarise and orient themselves in the situation. Sending a general offer is an important first step to success, especially if you sell solutions where the decision-making process is lengthy. So, if the client asks you for it, instead of losing enthusiasm, treat it as the first step. It’s worth knowing that this is where most salespeople fail, because of the assumptions you’re learning about now.