The 12 Steps To Successful E-mail
The most important thing to remember about using e-mail in sales today, is that e-mail represents the future of communication; and sales are made through communicating. If you do not have e-mail then you will not be able to converse efficiently with a growing segment of your prospects, clients and customers.
That said, just having e-mail is no guarantee of making money and saving time with it. Below are the twelve most important considerations describing why and how you should be using this technology to increase customer and client satisfaction, prospect for new business and function more efficiently.
- The first thing you must realize about e-mail, is that like the pager, voice mail, fax machine and the cellular phone, it is no longer simply a technology status symbol. E-mail is fast becoming a standard business communication tool. More and more clients are going to expect that you will be able to communicate with them this way. If you don't have e-mail, it's going to cost you credibility - and eventually, sales.
- E-mail can be an unparalleled tool for saving time and providing first rate customer service. Just as you may be aware of how to send a fax to multiple numbers, you can also send one e-mail to an unlimited number of your customers, clients or prospect, all at once. In fact, this is much easier to do with e-mail than it is with a fax machine - and faster, too! Many successful salespeople are sending electronic newsletters, interest rate updates, and other promotional or client follow-up messages via e-mail.
- Unlike sending broadcast faxes, with e-mail you can personalize each message just as you would using mail-merge with a word processor or a contact manager. You can easily send personalized messages at a rate of 10 to 15 messages per minute, and all without long distance charges! A facsimile cannot offer any of these benefits. For more information of sending "personalized" email, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Many users of e-mail are not aware of how easy it is to send computer files as attachments to their messages. While you could send any file on your computer via e-mail, the most common attachments would be word processing documents like flyers and contracts, MLS data and property photographs. Imagine sending a relocating buyer your brokerage agreement and an MLS search, complete with property photographs, within minutes of talking with them for the first time. The fact is, some of your competitors are already doing this!
- When opening an e-mail account, it is imperative that you choose an easily remembered address! You do not want to be SMC0498@aol.com as neither you or your clients will be able to easily and accurately recall this address. It's okay to be creative, just make sure it's simple! If you would like access to an easily remembered permanent e-mail address, send a message to email@example.com.
- Once you have an e-mail address you must print it on absolutely everything! More and more of today's technologically sophisticated consumers will choose an agent who they feel will provide them with convenient service, and e-mail is certainly this. However, if your e-mail address isn't on your business card, stationery, highlight sheets and all of your advertisements, then you are needlessly costing yourself business!
- Do not dismiss the value of being able to easily store all of your previous incoming and outgoing e-mail messages. In the last few decades much was said about developing a paper trail in your business dealings. Today, and into the future, e-mail allows you to effortlessly maintain permanent and accurate records of your business communications - without file cabinets, folders or even paper!
- E-mail form letters are extremely useful for anyone in sales or customer service. You can write a message once and then send it again and again to various customers and clients as the need arises. For example, you could create a closing checklist, list of preferred lenders, phone directory of the various utility providers and a letter explaining the typical closing costs and then send a copy of any of these whenever a customer or client needs this information. This kind of service is fast, efficient and impressive!
- E-mail is also an unparalleled method for communicating within the company. Memos, meeting agendas, listing status changes, price reductions and new listings can instantaneously be communicated throughout your company regardless of the number of agents and offices, or the size of your market place. Better yet, there is no need to worry about when agents will come to the office and check their mail slot!
- You can have e-mail for free! If you own a computer and a modem, then there is absolutely no excuse for not having e-mail. Companies like JUNO (800-654-JUNO) will actually give you a free e-mail account and software to send and receive messages! Like radio and TV, this service is supported by advertisements, so it costs you nothing. If you've got e-mail, call and get a few disks anyway. Then you can give these to your customers and clients who don't already have an account so that you can communicate with them more efficiently!
- Promote yourself and what you do by taking advantage of "signature" files. While most e-mail software will support at least one of these "signatures," many people never bother to set theirs! Basically, this is simply a text file that will be added to the end of every message you send. Make sure yours not only has your name, but your email address, the fact that you're a REALTOR and the city and state that you work in. It's amazing how many business leads can be developed simply because someone realizes that they have a friend who is moving to your town, and that you just happen to be in real estate!
- Get a quality e-mail software package. If you've got Internet access through an ISP then you ordinarily do not have to use the software they provide. Eudora is the current market leader in email software. While it's not perfect, it does allow you to perform some extremely useful tasks. The ability to set up logical mailing lists, (buyers in one and sellers in another, for example) create and easily use countless form letters and automatically use multiple "signature" files are just a few of the reasons that spending a few dollars now will save you hours and hours of time, each and every month.
For all practical purposes, email is the fax, voice mail, cell phone and pager of the future, all wrapped into one. Within the coming years, you will even negotiate contracts via email, just as you now rely on the facsimile. In short, if you don't have it, get it. If you've got it, start using it more effectively!
Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale