17 August 2018

How I learned to love emails

I’ll tell you a classic story about the typical Friday night. I went out with my friends, we had a couple of drinks (a bit too many), and went to a club. The place was nice and there was this one girl that really caught my eye. She was stunning and I couldn’t stop looking at her. After some casual staring and some extra shots with my friends, I finally found the courage to approach her. I started dancing with her and she actually started dancing ‘back’. So that went pretty well so far, but then the shots started doing their job and I got a little bit overconfident. Without even speaking a word with the girl, I went for it and tried to kiss her. Rooky mistake. Well in her right, she pushed me away and I never saw her again.

Getting customers, not girls

This post is not about bad pick-up lines and overconsumption of alcohol. No, today we will talk about sales. We’ll see that when we talk our potential customers, we make exactly the same mistakes, as when we talk to girls. Let’s see what went wrong in the story above.

Probably the biggest mistake was that I didn’t even talk to her. When talking to a girl (like talking to your potential customers), you can tell your story, build trust and give them time to get to know you (and your product), to eventually make a decision about what they want.

Picking up a girl or selling your product requires a gradual process. Don’t want too much, too early!

The first thing you need to understand, is this: Most people will not buy on the spot, they need time to think. Like with most girls, you cannot sleep with them right away. They first want to get to know you, see if you’re not a creep and if they actually like you. So, you need to ask for smaller things first. Maybe a kiss, or just her phone number! And then you can really start the gradual process. You can talk to her in a regular way (without loud music). You can then ask her on a date, and gradually get to know her better. Maybe then, she wants to sleep with you too. The bottom line here is: don’t be pushy. Not with girls, and not with your customers.

Create a slippery slope of persuasion

Another problem you will encounter, is that the girl of your dreams visits your website, likes it, but then leaves again to never return again. Of course, I’m talking about your customers here, but it’s the same game. I never saw that girl again, and people on websites have an attention span of a goldfish. The moment they leave, you won’t see them again.

The sales equivalence for scoring a number is to get someone’s email address. If anyone visits your website, this should be your main goal. When you have the email address, you can slowly start introducing yourself and your product. You’re not in a hurry, the email won’t expire. This way you can give a quality pitch, perhaps already provide some valuable content/demo’s/discounts. This is the way to go. Don’t be too pushy, and ask for their email address. This gradual process is called a sales funnel, and it’s the way to get the dream girl or guy buy your product.

Hoping that people will land on your website and just start buying stuff is a lost case, you first need to introduce yourself (and your product)

There are many types of sales funnels, but we’ll not talk about that today (you can read about it here: if that’s finished). The main take-away of today is that you need to ask for an email address. So what can you do right now to make your sales process more smooth (thus more effective)? First start by mapping out the whole process (or funnel) and see where you are ‘forcing’ things. Try to smooth them out and try to ask the smallest possible commitments every time (further reading: micro-commitments). And just don’t forget, instead of asking for a purchase, just ask their email address (or ask their number, if you like calling ;).

Key insights

  • Don’t kiss a girl before talking to her
    • Don’t go for the sale right away, first introduce yourself to your potential customers
  • Sales is a gradual process
    • Give a good introduction, provide value, work slowly. Design a sales funnel
  • Website visitors won’t buy your product right away, ask their email address!
    • When you have their email, you won’t lose them as easy and you can give a quality pitch, give demo’s or provide discounts.