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If you could send a one-line email and get a prospect’s attention, how would you do it?
You loved my two-sentence rule for its brevity and effectiveness. Now I have something even better – check out these one-sentence emails.
Why should you send one-sentence emails? I get such a good response rate when I send one-sentence emails. I wish I could do it 100% of the time.
Why do they work so well?
- If you say less than you need to, people will think you’re smarter. That is because you appear to be in control of your words. By talking too much, you will make yourself look less intelligent.
- Anything you can do to make the prospect’s life easier will be rewarded. Do you know how much people have on their minds? I mean, don’t you have a ton of nonsense flying at you like a field of bullets daily?
- The point of an email is not to give someone information. It is to give someone the minimum amount of information required to get them to take an action.
- You avoid using irritating follow-up cliches such as touching base, checking in, saying hello, taking your temperature on doing that Roth conversion. I’ll stop there because I’m annoying myself just by writing them.
The power of silence
The corporate silence – dread him not!
Silence is the most powerful word in any conversation between two people.
Yet it’s rare.
People suffocate it, destroy even a millisecond of it. That is because they are scared of it. Do you realize how many people are freaked out, and I mean really shaken to the core, any time they are talking to someone and the other person doesn’t say anything back right away?
Yet silence is so valuable. The words in any conversation are made meaningful by the silence in between them. Think of it as a big exclamation point. Let the words breathe, people.
Do this experiment. The next time you are in a conversation, just stop talking. Literally just shut up and count to 10. Do you know what will happen? They’ll start paying acute attention to you immediately. Ironically, silence is the best attention-getter of them all!
Try this today and then send me an email.
How to send a one-sentence email
I started using one-sentence emails a decade ago and it’s been fabulous. I don’t even include a subject line; the email text is the subject line.
Here’s what a hypothetical one would look like.
Yup, the email body is blank.
I send a blank email with text only in the subject line. The blank email body causes their blood pressure to immediately drop. The person is instantly relieved they won’t have to sift through some mind-numbing jibber jabber.
Seven one-sentence emails
Here are seven examples of one-sentence emails. You can send these as LinkedIn messages, too, by the way.
1. Look at this: (paste link to article)
You only want to send this email when you are 100% sure that the person is interested in what you are sending them. For example, if they asked a question in your sales meeting about something.
It shows that you want to give someone information to help them and that it is sincere. You aren’t that interested in getting another meeting, trying to appear overly virtuous for thinking of them, or getting their business. Your sole objective is to help them increase their understanding of a particular subject. It shows you listened to them.
2. Easy question: Can I add you to my newsletter list?
First of all, this is going to make you look more considerate than the average person because most of us just add the prospect’s email to our newsletter without asking.
Not saying I haven’t done it once or twice…
They’ll probably respond just because you’re being polite.
Second of all, it shows that you aren’t going to latch onto them like an octopus and suck their time away to ask a simple question. That’s the point of the word “easy.”
3. Loving your recent social media post “Is entrepreneurship a vocation?”
Write it just like that. You quote some of the person’s post to make sure that they know you read it.
Just pay a compliment and then shut up.
4. Right or wrong: You’d rather be nibbled to death by ducks than talk again? (laughing emoji)
This is the Hail Mary. Use this if the prospect has gone stone cold and the next stop is putting them in on the DRIP list.
It’s a ridiculous question. Probably the person will chuckle and respond because nobody would rather die than talk to you. By showing a sense of humor, you’ll separate yourself from the rest of advisors who are liable to have a heart attack at the thought of saying anything funny.
Make sure you include the emoji at the end to clarify that you are joking.
5. Would love to hear your thoughts about working together…?
Yes. It’s that simple.
They’ll appreciate that you took the time to ask rather than assuming they want to move to the next step.
Make sure you punctuate it with the ellipsis. You’re calling attention to the omission of words. Silence, remember how powerful it is!
When I send someone a contract, the email usually goes like this:
Subject line: Agreement
(and then the proposal is attached).
This has improved my close rate to omit any of the tiring closing nonsense they tell you to say. There’s nothing more to say, because at this stage the selling is done. If you have issues you need to discuss, you shouldn’t be sending the agreement yet.
Do you know how much business you can talk yourself out of by cluttering the close with too many words? Just send the agreement and let DocuSign do the talking.
Notice how I use the word “agreement” rather than “proposal” or “contract” when I communicate with the prospect.
7. Go or no go?
When you ask the question this bluntly, it makes the person feel that you are comfortable hearing “no.” Fear of hurting your feelings is a big reason that people don’t respond to you.
Every LinkedIn message in this e-book I wrote is two-sentence or less.
If you need social media coaching check out my membership.
Or you could just send me an email saying hello, but if you do make sure it’s only a sentence long!
Sara Grillo, CFA, is a marketing consultant who helps investment management, financial planning, and RIA firms fight the tendency to scatter meaningless clichés on their prospects and bore them as a result. Prior to launching her own firm, she was a financial advisor.
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