Why Your InMail Has Left Us On The Outs

By Michael Roderick  -  On 25 Feb, 2015 -  0 comments

There is no arguing that the world of sales has changed. We can now reach more people than ever before faster than ever before. We also have more access than we have ever had to people who in the past may have seemed inaccessible. Thanks to technology, almost anyone is a click away and thanks to InMail you can send a message to people you aren’t connected with. It’s a very powerful thing.

But with great power comes great responsibility.

The other day I got the fourth in a series of InMails that did nothing other than clutter my inbox and make me frustrated. Now I totally get that some people still use cold calls as a way of generating business, but in a world where we have access to so much information you would think that more effort would be made to craft messages that feel personal, anticipated, and relevant. (HT to Seth Godin for that terminology) Simply put, these emails are not very effective and they waste my time and the time of the person trying to make the sale. So for the sake of my colleagues who are also inundated with these messages, I am going to take one of them and break them down in the hopes that more people who have to send them will start to consider that there is a better way that can lead to more conversion. I fully expect that many people will still try and send emails like this, but if even one sales person reads this and changes even one thing at least some seeds will be planted, so here we go. As always, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Subject line: Would you like more leads for your business? —-Already this sounds super scammy. It’s like someone in trench coat calling me over and asking me if I want to buy a watch. Also, what do you mean by leads and how do you know who buys from me? The subject line alone would put you in the trash bin, but I’ve had my coffee so I’ll keep reading.

Hi Michael! —–Do we know each other? Why are you so excited to speak to me? 

It looks like from your LinkedIn profile that you have a business that could benefit from our service at Super Sales Lead’s R’Us. We have worked with (Big company name, big company name, small company name) —-What exactly about my profile told you this? What industry do you work in? Have you read any of my posts? Do I sound like the type of guy who buys “leads”?

We have an x% conversion for most of our clients and we are confident that we can do the same for you! —–Why are you so excited? I’m still not clear on how you understand my business or what it is that I do. Also, can you stop shouting?

I can set up a demo so you can see how the system works. Do you have time for a call this afternoon? If so, you can reply to this email. Look forward to getting started!——Um. No! Stop with the exclamation points. We are not friends, I am unclear as to what value you actually offer to my company and I don’t know you or your business from a hole in the wall. Also, if you read my most recent post, you know how I feel about demos. I am deleting your email now and likely marking you as spam. 

Now the example above may seem a bit extreme, but you’d be amazed at how many emails I get that read like that. The numbers game is important in sales and I totally get that. I know that most people can’t spend the time to get hyper personal, but there really is no place left for emails that are cold like this. We’re all too busy these days to entertain stock messages and the people who are sticking with archaic methods like the email above are going to go the way of the dinosaurs.

It’s time for sales to evolve.

If you know someone who is still living in the dark ages and sending emails like this, it’s time for an intervention. The future of business belongs to connectivity and the more your message connects the bigger wins you’ll have and the more likely your InMail will actually make it IN.

If enough people stop accepting InMails written this poorly, then maybe these people will stop writing them.

That’s a world I want to live in.