Writing good emails is vital in sales, and every salesperson has their own email tactic. But you only get one shot at getting your sales emails opened, so it’s critical to do it right.
In this episode of the Sales Hacker podcast, our host Colin Campbell welcomes Will Allred, the co-founder and COO of Lavender. They talk about the potential application of ChatGPT in sales, why frameworks are better than templates, and how to personalize your email sequence.
💡 Name: Will Allred
💡 What he does: He’s the co-founder and COO of Lavender.
💡 Company: Lavender
💡 Noteworthy: Will is one of the founders of Lavender, an AI-powered email coach helping sales teams write emails that buyers want to read. Guided by the data from millions of emails running through Lavender’s 20k+ active inboxes and having sat down with thousands of sales reps for 1:1 coaching, Will is quick to share why your email efforts fall flat and how to fix them. He was named a Top Voice in Sales by LinkedIn in 2021.
💡 Where to find Will: LinkedIn
⚡ Is ChatGPT a friend or a foe?
ChatGPT is on everyone’s lips right now. But how do you use it to your advantage? According to Will, it’s all about how you apply it. He also talks about the challenges that ChatGPT brings to the table. He explains, “The nature of a large language model is effectively to add additional information, and we know that’s not good for getting a response. So there’s a lot of these interesting challenges that I think we’re going to see pop up in sales as these things become more pervasive, which is like, is it actually helping save you time? Is it helping you create and craft something that’s of value to the person on the other end? If you think about what ChatGPT is, it is the average of everyone who writes on the internet.”
⚡ Always start your sales emails with context.
The days of starting your sales emails with “Hope you’re doing well” are long gone. Now, it’s all about context. Will explains, “Every great email starts with context and a reason for why you’re reaching out. That drives everything else. Even if it’s a long email versus a short email, it doesn’t really matter in the scenario. You’re starting with this context, even if it’s mid-funnel, like, ‘Hey, had a really good call. We talked about the following thing…’ Context. Then the next thing that you’d want to say is, ‘Here’s exactly what we think is the great next step.'”
⚡ Use frameworks and not templates.
Email templates are not helpful, despite what many people think. They actually don’t educate you in the long run. Instead, you need to use frameworks. Will explains, “When I post a framework, I’ll usually accompany it with a sort of a templated version of how it could come to life. I use it as a teaching example, not as, ‘Here’s the final draft that you should go and copy and paste.’ The problem is you have to get people away from templates. I despise templates, and the reason I despise templates is that a template is the easy button. You’re not actually teaching the person on the other end anything other than, ‘Okay, I can regurgitate this.’ Meanwhile, a framework, if you line it out, it’s like, ‘Here’s what you’re trying to accomplish here. Here’s what you’re trying to accomplish after that.'”
Your application of ChatGPT is what’s going to make you stand out from your competitors
“To me, thinking about this, the thing that matters is not ChatGPT. It’ll be very accessible; so you’re saying 50%, it’ll go up. It’ll touch every rep’s daily life. The key is the application layer that you interface with ChatGPT and all these things on top. So when we think about what we’ve built, our focus was on building a content intelligence tool that helps you be more productive. And so, what makes Lavender special is not how we use ChatGPT. What makes Lavender special is that we dig in and do the deep dive analysis of what’s driving your messaging to work, and the reason it’s useful is because we take that and we apply it back into your writing.”
Personalize your email sequence
“If you’re reaching out to me about your technical product, don’t talk to me like I’m a CTO. Talk to me about the things that I care about. And so it’s like, ‘Hey, we have this API integrator. I see you’re having a ton of success with outreach customers, and you’re not integrated with HubSpot yet. Our product can help you integrate faster.’ I’m not thinking about integrating faster. What I’m thinking about is the addressable market that you can open me up to and tell me about how I can sell to more HubSpot customers. That’s like a way more interesting message to someone in my position.”
The translation problem with cold emails
“People are very obsessed with talking about themselves in a cold email. And the problem is you are meeting somebody in a place where they are not in the mindset to absorb that information. You are introducing what I call the translation problem, and it’s the same reason we don’t accept resumes at Lavender. You are asking me to take a set of information about you or what you do, or either what you do within a job aspect or what you do from a company perspective, and translate it back to my problems.”