I receive many email offers for services to help me make my business better. If it looks like it’s from a real person who found me in a Chamber of Commerce directory or met me at a networking meeting. I try to respond even if I don’t want the services, even encouraging them to continue to pursue their new clients.  

Last week I received an email that was so incredibly condescending that it spurred me to write this post with some tips that would have helped him, and may help you. Perhaps, like this guy, you have written a pitch that you think is persuasive, but it’s missed the mark of being compelling and firmly rooted itself to rudeness. 

Your Approach

First, I don’t know the author of the email I received, and I didn’t recognize his company’s name. Out of the blue, you might say, this guy is writing to tell me how poorly I’m performing at my job and I need his services right away. I think the email said, “You need a lot of improvement,” or something else equally condescending.

Is he trying to make me feel embarrassed? Ashamed? Impressed with his observation? I didn’t feel any of those things. His assertions were loaded with assumptions about my business and I therefore had no interest in clicking on any links he supplied. The sad thing for him, is that he might have a great product that would help me, but I was too turned off by his pitch to try out his product. 

How do you avoid sounding like Condescending Connor (not his name)?

Itemize Your Benefits

A winning pitch will tell your audience how they will be transformed. It will explain the vision of the company. “After working with us, you will feel …”

If what he said was accurate, he needed to ask me questions so I could put myself in the dire situation where the only solution is to hire him. He needed to ask me if I was feeling any of the things he wanted to address. 

Questions like:

  • Are you struggling to find the time to do everything you need to do? 
  • Have you ever wondered if you’re losing clients because you’re taking a DIY approach and not hiring an expert?
  • Have you thought of expanding your team of professionals with a consultant like me? 

Share a Success Story

In a paragraph or two, introduce a customer who had the problem you address, then talk about how you addressed it, and explain the customer’s new normal because of you. 

Court Your Customer

Would you send an email to someone you didn’t know to ask them out on a date? Of course not! You need to get to know them. Introduce yourself in the first email and talk about what you do. Leave off with a note that you’ll contact them again. Then do! Don’t turn into a bad first date who promises to call but never does. 

Include some information to contact you in case they don’t want to wait. 

It really is that simple!

Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and small businesses. She recently published Laws of Promotion. The 50-page promotional guide for small businesses and local nonprofits is available now on Amazon. Call her for help with your promotion. If you found this post helpful, please leave a note here and feel free to share it. 

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