After learning communication basics, it's helpful to walk through some examples. Below is a very simple prompt. The first answer is a common pitfall, and the last three are examples of how to improve it.
When writing, don't lose your voice. Below is language that I crafted, but it might not perfectly fit with your style, so don't be afraid to make it your own.
Should we go to the trade show?
I'm unsure whether we should go to the trade show. There will definitely be lots of clients there and the team would really enjoy it, but it's pretty expensive and so I don't know if it will be worth it. On the one hand, we haven't done anything like that in a while, but I worry it will distract the team from working with our current prospects. I guess we should just try it. Maybe we should talk about this and see what others are thinking.
This version might be extreme, but I do see a lot of people "work through" the decision within the email. The great part about written communication is that you can come to the conclusion first and then write the email.
All of these thoughts might be relevant, and they might contribute to your decision, but you don't need to take the recipient through that journey.
Finally, when asked a direct question, your goal should be to make a decision. Decision making is scary and hard (here are some tips!) but it is a necessary skill in business. Pick a path and justify it.
I want to make sure that the trade show will be profitable before I commit.
Can you send me the cost to attend? I will work with the team on expected lead flow from the event. After I have those two pieces of data, I can make a recommendation.
When do you need a decision by?
If you're not confident to make a decision, think through what information would change that feeling. Clearly communicate why you can't make the decision and what action items are necessary to get you there.
End by asking for the timeline expectation. This will communicate to the requester that you plan to address their question.
Yes, we should go to the trade show, and we should send Sally.
1. We've had success getting business from prior trade shows
2. Multiple prospects have told us they are attending
3. Sally is already at target, so sending her won't interrupt our pipeline
What is the next step to getting signed up?
If you have the answer, lead with that! Including the justification in a succinct and organized fashion can prevent questioning of your decision and save you a headache.
Finally, own your role in the next step and ask what you need to do. Being proactive is a great way to be effective.
I don't have experience with trade shows, but Melanie, on our Marketing team, has handled them in the past. I'd like her to make the recommendation.
Melanie - can you let Sarah know if we should attend the trade show?
Let me know if you need anything from a Sales Ops perspective.
Just because you were asked the question, it doesn't mean you are the best person to answer it. Here is an elegant way to delegate someone else, as well as explain why they are better suited to handle it.
It makes the introduction and offers to provide support, so you don't come off as shirking your responsibility.
Many people will only interact with you via email, so it is important you use the platform to clearly and confidently convey yourself. We'll continue this series and share other email examples.
Have something specific you're interested in seeing? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.