Author’s Note: I was planning on posting this blog a bit later in the Spring, but given our quick changing business and social realities due to COVID-19 Coronavirus, it seems a bit more timely to bring it forward.

I recently received a sales email from an unknown company, based here in the US. I looked them up, and they are legit and established.  Unlike my usual tendency to glance and move on, I responded to it – but likely not for the reason the sender would have hoped for.

My response centered on my dissatisfaction with the nature of the email – specifically to the lack of benefit my business would gain by working with this organization. Here is the components of the letter and my thoughts/reactions, restated here is parts for clearer instruction (I’ll keep the proper names and data anonymous for professional courtesy).


 Hello Bill,

“I tried to get in touch with you several weeks ago to check if there is a mutual fit between The Ganon Group and <company>, but I didn’t get a reply.”


Bad opening. A specific date of the email is lot more helpful than “several weeks ago”,  because that way I can look it up if I so choose. Secondly, “several weeks ago” sounds accusatory and judgmental (as in “it was so far back, I can even remember the date of you choosing not to reply back”). Oh by the way, the previous email was from some 4 months earlier, not several weeks.  Net takeaway from opening: Negative. Defensive.


Second Paragraph:

“I have researched The Ganon Group and sent some emails, so please let me know if there is something else I can do to get a response. I’m sure that <company> can be a game-changer for you and your team at The Ganon Group. We are a very unique Software Outsourcing company that employs only the top 1% Software Engineers in <region withheld> (fluent in English and in sync with your time zone). We have deep expertise across current mains platforms, frameworks and programming languages.”


Worse follow-on paragraph. If you’ve “researched” my company, then you better tell me what the research has uncovered, and why it makes sense to get my response; vs. once again, insinuating my lack of response is your problem.  And please, if you’re going to be a “game-changer” <I wince at the cliché>, then you better show me you understand my game. Which by the way is a sales and communication coaching consultancy for organizations – which never is mentioned throughout the entire email.


Also, a bit of a pet peeve of mine:  your “very unique…” (the word unique by definition, doesn’t require emphasis. Something is either unique or it isn’t), “…Software Outsourcing” (capitalized?) company that employs only the top 1% Software Engineers (capitalized?). We have deep expertise across current mains (typo?) platforms, frameworks and programming languages.”

Two words: So what?  The only reason I care about your “stuff” is how it may positively impact my business. During my coaching sessions, I often tell sales teams  that no one ever hired a contractor because he has the best tools.  What I care about in a contractor is their ability to foresee my project and bring it to reality in both high quality and value. This paragraph fails to address any benefit to The Ganon Group.

Final Paragraph:

“I know it is hard to find free time slots these days, but can we have a quick chat so you can at least understand why I am so persistent? Let me know your engineering needs and I will send you resumes. Hopefully, we can catch up soon and I can provide more details about our highly competitive and unique approach.”

No better. “Free time”? Responding to a strong value proposition doesn’t require “free time”. If the value is strong, it’s part of doing business. And the failure to articulate why you are so persistent, is your problem, not mine. Finally, the offer for resumes for engineering needs is floated at the end, but again, with no relevance to The Ganon Group – a company the sales person claims to have researched.

Once again, with our sudden new reality of cancelled conferences, limits on travel and visitors to companies and a larger shift to working from home – emails are more vital than ever. Keep the value of your communication at the forefront. Think in the mind of your recipient – “What’s In It For Me?”.

Epilogue: Their response to my email? None to date. And again, to confirm this wasn’t some random spam-bot, I discovered not only that the company was real and legit, but that the sender is in fact, a real person (according to LinkedIn). No response to an email from a possible prospect who took the time to offer feedback? Not cool.

Final word on Coronavirus – Stay safe, practice good hand washing and social distancing, and hopefully by the summertime, we’ll be able to look back on this as a temporary, albeit significant period in our lives.

The Ganon Group offers communication coaching for executives and employees across all departments: C-Suite Leadership, Sales, Customer Experience, Technical / Product Development, to improve their communication and presentation techniques. We believe everyone can “up” their game when it comes to communicating initiatives and ideas within the organization, outside to new prospects, to existing clients, or to outside media and trade organizations.