Whether you’re at a networking event, a party, a conference, or an office function, walking up to a stranger and introducing yourself can be terrifying.
I don’t know about you, but I never stroll over without a detailed plan of what I’ll say and how I’ll say it. After all, people form a first impression of you in a tenth of second — so as crazy as it sounds, a lame opening line could sabotage the entire relationship.
But even though I’ve always been strategic about my in-person opening lines, I only recently began applying the same level of thought to my online messages — a common sales email mistake. After taking a cold, hard look at the first lines I was using, I identified a few that were totally flopping. I tossed them from my repertoire … and my response rate more than doubled.
1) “My name is … ”
Names are one of the hardest things to remember — because, let’s be honest, people aren’t that interested in them. That means starting emails with, “My name is Aja Frost, and I’m an account executive for Zone,” will send my recipients straight to snoozeville.
Plus, it’s easy for prospects to figure out your name if they want to. All they have to do is look at the “From” field or email signature.
Luckily, fixing this mistake is easy: Just cut this sentence from your message so it now begins with the second sentence. Your recipient will appreciate how quickly you get to the point.
2) “I work for … ”
Launching into your message with “I work for so-and-so” is even worse than starting with your name. Not only is it boring and unoriginal, but it’s like planting a huge sign in the prospect’s brain that says, “I’m trying to sell you something!!!”
Telling the prospect which organization you represent can be useful; for instance, if the company is well-known, or if you’ve met the buyer before and this detail will help jog their memory. However, you’ll want to weave your company’s name in naturally.