Being Brief Is Digital Fresh Air

By Erin King | March 11, 2020
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Read an excerpt from Erin's book Digital Persuasion: Sell Smarter in the Modern Marketplace

Think about when you last got a message that cut straight to the point, didn’t waste your time, and gave you what you needed in a matter of seconds. It’s so refreshing, isn’t it? Before they’ve even read one word, just seeing the brevity of your message visually inspired an instant appreciation, an instant liking—you’ve been so brief that they’ll want to repeat the interaction in the future. It showed that you are not someone who is into time-wasting.

Say you’re sitting down for a meeting at work. What’s the absolute best thing you could possibly hear from the meeting organizer? “All right, guys, let’s keep this short.”

Yes! It’s a wonderful feeling.

The most valuable things in life are time and money. If you can save someone time, or save someone money, that kicks in the reciprocity principle; you’ve given them a gift. They’ll respond by looking you up, replying to your message, referring you to someone else—the opportunities are endless, all because you kept it shockingly short.

Try being shockingly short with your next message.

  1. First, go through the last ten unique sales messages in your Sent folder. Get a word count on each and find the average word count across your typical outbound message.
  2. Then, cut that number in half. Yup, I said it—in half! Aim for two or three sentences max. Remember, the goal is to communicate for a click, and to inspire some kind of action, not to try to sell them within that one message. You want to sell them on giving you a chance, not sell them on your entire product, service, company, or idea.
  3. Rewrite your message and restrict yourself to the above number. Make sure to send it out and track your response rate so you can compare it to the wordier messages you were sending before. Watch your response rates improve dramatically!

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