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Jim Domanski

Jim Domanski is President of Teleconcepts Consulting, a firm that helps businesses and individuals use the telephone more effectively to generate leads and sell more product. Focusing exclusively on outbound, business to business tele-sales, Jim provides both consulting and training services to clients in the US, Canada and Europe. A dynamic speaker and presenter, he is also the author of three highly successful books on tele-sales skills and strategies. For more information visit his web site at teleconceptsconsulting.com or call 613-591-1998.

Add-On Selling by Jim Domanski

Add-On Selling: How to Squeeze Every Last Ounce of Sales Potential From Your Calls by Jim Domanski

Transforming Your Sales Force

Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
The book, written for sales managers and executives in the distribution industry, provides a blue print for executives to transform their sales forces into highly directable, effective, focused performers.
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8 Keys to Getting Your E-mails Read Every Time

Copyright 2006 by Jim Domanski

The key to getting your e-mails read and acted on is making sure they catch your clients' eyes and draw the reader into the message. Follow these tactics to make your e-mails clutter-free, quick to read, and precise. Your message will be more appealing and more likely to be read with the attention you deserve.

E-mail can be a very effective and efficient means of communication. It's inexpensive and can produce immediate results. But here's the problem with e-mail, especially in the prospecting and selling process: your prospects and clients get dozens of e-mails every day.

So the challenge is this: How do you get your e-mail read and acted on? EYE SHARE: The key to getting your e-mails read and acted on is winning "eye share."

Eye share refers to how well e-mails catch your clients' attention amid all the other e-mails they receive and how often you draw clients into the text of the message.

Because most prospects and clients get such a large volume of e-mail, their attention span is limited. Generally speaking, they'll scan your message and make a quick determination of whether they should read it now, defer it until later, or hit the dreaded Delete key. Your objective is to get the client to read your message, and read it NOW because if it is deferred, it's pretty likely to get lost or forgotten.

The trick to increasing eye share is making your e-mail easy to read and attractive to the eye. If it's easy to read and attractive to look at, chances are better that your reader will get into the text. Mission accomplished.

Here are eight ways to create e-mail messages that attract and retain eye share.

1.   The Greeting: Formal vs. casual tone...

Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes it is not, but your greeting can influence eye share.

  • The "dear" salutation: Compare "Hi Tracie" to "Dear Tracie" ; two different tones are immediately established: one is more informal and one is more formal. What tone do you want to set? There is no right or wrong answer but be aware that at a conscious or subconscious level you are conveying the mood, feel and flow of your message.
  • Surname or first name: Whether you use a first name or a surname also influences the tone of your e-mail and can impact eye-share. "Mr. Maynard" gives an entirely different feel than "Mark". When you use a surname it is formal and tends to work better with newer prospects but it also is very traditional and some readers will put it aside for the moment because it lacks familiarity. Personally, I use the first name regardless of the situation. I am trying to make the e-mail feel more light and personal; I want to influence the reader to see this as an easy going message and not something starchy and formal.

2.   The Opening Line: Make a good first impression...

The opening line is probably the most important part of the e-mail because this is what your client tends to read first. If the message is compelling, then the reader's eye is drawn further into the text. If it is long, convoluted and confusing, you lose the attention. The eye gets weary and you may lose your reader. Here are some key tips:

  • Skip the royal "we." "We at TPD Limited take pride..." Borrriiiing! Who cares? What's your point?
  • Please, please don't use the old clichés: "Brandi, further to our conversation today please find attached..." Not only is this old fashioned and stilted, it is what every other vendor uses; you don't stand out from the herd of others who send the same types of messages. Instead, say "Janice here's the report you requested". This approach cuts to the quick; uses fewer words; makes it easy to digest.
  • Another powerful type of opening is called the "direct approach." Tell your reader the precise reason for the e-mail. For instance: "Bob, the reason for my e-mail is..." Readers find this refreshing and it helps them determine if they should spend more time here or skip onto something else.
  • Here's another really, really powerful way to get the gist of your message across to your reader: If you have 2-3 key points you want to make or reasons for the e-mail then tell the reader. For example, "Matt, there are 3 reasons for my e-mail today" or "Derek, I know you are busy. I have 2 quick reasons for my e-mail today." This works because a numerical list tends to make the average person curious; they wonder: what are the 3 points?" And because they are itemized, it makes it simple for the eye to follow and quickly check out the key points. Rich in psychology, this is a BIG tip (I also recommend using this approach in the subject line to catch your client's attention.) Use numerals (e.g., "2, 3, 4) rather than written words (e.g., "one, two, three" ) because the numeric catches the eye since it is different from the text.
  • Make your opening only one line long. That's it. One line is easy on the eye. It's not an intimidating, long winded paragraph. One line tends to lure the reader in; a ‘snack' instead of a meal. Here's a really neat idea: Put your opening in bold face print to suggest importance and add an extra punch. It stands out, draws the eye to the text, creates curiosity and suggests importance.

3.   The Paragraphs: Short and sweet are best...

The paragraphs contain the meat of your message. The rule of thumb is this: the shorter the better.

  • First, double space the greeting line from the first paragraph. This creates "white space" i.e., it opens up the e-mail and makes it friendlier to the eye.
  • Always, double space between paragraphs for the same reason as above.
  • Never make your paragraphs more than 3 or possibly 4 lines. Anything longer than that can turn the client off simply because it "looks" long. They say to themselves: "I'll get to that when I have more time."
  • Use the same technique I mentioned in the "opening" i.e., put your first line in bold print. Again, it draws the eye and more importantly, it gets the first line read. If it is crafted well enough it can pull the reader into the rest of the paragraph.
  • If you have two or three reasons for the e-mail, start your first paragraph with: "The first reason for my e-mail is..." Or, alternatively: number the points: "1. The report..."
  • Use indents to highlight key points. The use of "white space" and the uneven edges continue to play with the roaming eye of your client. It naturally tugs the eye to the indented words. It's a great way to emphasize benefits etc.
  • Similarly you can change the font to emphasize a key point. Notice that I have switched to italics. Because there is a change in font, the reader is drawn yet again to a difference in the text. It creates curiosity because it is different.
  • Use bullet points to shorten your message or list items. Have you noticed? I have been using them throughout the article. If you made it this far chances are I have influenced your decision by making it look like a quicker read than it really is.
  • Try not to go beyond 3 paragraphs. I know that is not always easy and in fact, it is sometimes necessary to go longer. It will depend on the objective of the e-mail. Generally speaking however, more than 3 paragraphs can be subconsciously perceived as ‘burdensome' to the mind. If you need more length, use an attachment.

4.   The Last Paragraph...

The last paragraph gets read often. Reader's eye often scan or skip the paragraphs and zip down to the last line or two to see if something needs to be done. You can leverage this natural process.

  • The last paragraph should be one line. . .maybe two.
  • Use it as an "action" line. Tell the reader what you will be doing, what actions will be taking place or what they should be doing. Use the bold print.

5.   The Closing...

Like the opening, how you close the e-mail can have a subtle influence on your reader's subconscious.

  • Standard closing such as "regards", "all the best", "yours", "yours truly´ will vary depending on the nature of your relationship with the client.
  • The more you know them, the less formal you need to be; in fact, you can even skip the closing and just leave your name.

6.   The Post Script (PS)...

In direct mail, the PS is one of the most important components of a good letter. Next to the opening line, the PS is the most read line in a letter. Why not the same for the e-mail?

  • Use the PS: when you have something important that should be noted and you want to make sure the client sees it. When you want to build the relationship and show the personal side of you, e.g., "P.S. - Eric, trust the surprise party was a hit."

7.   Signature File...

If you don't have a signature file, make one... today... right now. If you don't know what a signature file is find out... today... right now.

  • a "sig" file should have your name, your contact information (phone, e-mail, fax, web site, and mailing address).
  • Why? Because it makes it easier if the client suddenly decides to call or respond in some way: they don't have to fumble around and look for numbers etc.

8.   Miscellaneous Tips: Looking Good...

Here are a few other tips culled from direct marketing gurus.

  • Font: For the most part, use Serif font such as Times Roman (the type you are reading now) because the font with the "little" feet have been shown to be easier on the eye (and it's all about eye-share). If you do use "sans serif" font (without the little feet) use Arial or Verdana because it is more common (but it is considered a little harder to read than serif font).
  • Size: Use 12 pt size (this size) because it's standardized and sized to read without being garish; anything smaller could be challenging and not appeal to the eye.
  • Backgrounds: I have mixed feelings about backgrounds but tend to be conservative here. For the most part, play it safe and go with a regular white background.
  • Color: Black or blue print. Blue is used less often so it can have a positive impact on eye-share.
  • Smiley things J: Please don't put in happy face symbols or sad face or any of those characters (unless you are REALLY close to this client). We are talking about a business e-mail and not a love letter or a chat service.
  • Acronyms: BTW (By The Way). TTFN (Ta Ta For Now). Don't use acronyms that you people use when chatting on MSN; these are clients and not your pals who may not know what you mean.
  • Attachments: Use attachments as necessary for quotes and proposals. Make sure to reference them in your e-mail.


If you want to give yourself an edge when it comes to using e-mails in the selling process, be mindful of the concept of ‘eye-share.' You want to create an e-mail that is easy on the eye; pleasing. Indents, short paragraphs, bold lines, bullet points and the like create white space. This eliminates "clutter" and makes your message more appealing and thus more READABLE.

If your message is read sooner (rather than later) your sales cycle will increase. This can mean your customer or prospect taking some sort of action sooner. It means increasing your leads or sales in less time.

If you want to learn more about these types of sales techniques then be sure to order Add On Selling by Jim.

Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
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Distribution companies, by their nature, should be sales-oriented companies. But, most distributors don't do sales very well. That's the premise behind this new book.

The book, written for sales managers and executives in the distribution industry, provides a blue print for executives to transform their sales forces into highly directable, effective, focused performers.

The book begins with an analysis of current conditions that pressure the distributor to revise the way he/she thinks about his sales force. Kahle then paints a picture of the distributor sales force of the future. The sales force will be:
  1. more specialized
  2. more directable
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His advice begins with "See it as a system," a concept that is based on one of the key principles for the book, "When you change the structure, you change the behavior of the people who work within that structure."
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