The One Thing Every Sales Email Needs, But is Lacking

One of the biggest problem I see in sales today, particularly with SDRs (Sales Development Reps) is that their email requests are unable to provide 30 minutes of value. And to make matters worse, their company, their sales organization isn’t helping them out.

At the beginning of every sales process there is an ask, every sale starts with an email or phone request asking to meet with a prospective buyer. This “request” is a request for the buyer’s time. 

The SDR asks the buyer for 15, 30, 60 minutes of their time.  On the surface, this appears to be an innocuous request, but here’s the problem. In almost EVERY case, the SDR, and therefore, the company isn’t providing enough value for the thirty minutes they’re asking for.  

This is a big problem.

Make no mistake people, when you ask someone for 30 minutes, you’re entering into an agreement, a transaction of time for something in exchange and therefore, you better be sure that something is of equal or greater value than the 30 minutes you’re requesting.

I’m gonna let it set in for a second. I know, few of you have ever looked at it like that. And don’t even try to argue with me. The countless email requests I’ve received or read tell me all I need to know. There is little value in them emails.

When you ask a person for 30 minutes of their time, you are asking for A LOT.  That is a big ask. 

Time is the greatest asset we have. It’s no longer a commodity. Time is an extremely valuable and rare resource people are guarding with extraordinary zeal. The pressures on people’s time has never been so great. We are inundated with requests, projects, deliverables, and more all demanding our time. Therefore, time is not a freely shared resource any longer. People require, no demand, a return on their time and if you as a sales person can not deliver that value, you aren’t going to get the call.

Here’s an email I recently received,

Hello Jim,

Deena asked me to reach out and schedule an introduction to our latest product XYZ.  I am available this week for a quick webinar.  It should only take a few minutes to give you the overview and then we can chat about specific use cases.

Let me know a couple options that work with your schedule and we can meet.

Let’s forget the fact that I have NO idea who Deena is. This email offers NOTHING for one minute of my time. There is nothing in this request that even acknowledges the value of my time, nevermind something in exchange for it.  Why would I say YES? And this is the problem with too many SDR and salespeople’s requests.

You give them NO reason to say YES!

If you want to get 30 minutes of someones time, you have to create enough value for that 30 minutes. You have to offer enough value that the person you want to meet with says to themselves; “Hmmmm, that sounds interesting. I’ll find 30 minutes of my time for that.

What kind of Value?

Well, that’s for you to decide with the help of marketing and sales leadership. However, considering you can’t wait for your company to get their shit together, you can start by asking these two questions every time you send out an email or make a phone call request.

Why would this person give me 30 minutes of their time? Why? Why is what I’m offering for 30 minutes worth it? If you can’t answer both of those questions, don’t ask. Just put down the phone, or stop writing and step away from computer, before you waste more of anyone else’s time.

If you’re selling a product that has any intrinsic business value at all, this shouldn’t be that hard.  Start by asking, what business problem does this solve for the person I’m calling? What impact can our product or service have on this person’s environment? Starting here allows you to frame the value of your request. It gets you focused on your buyer and your buyers world.

Once you know the real business value or product or service solves, then turn it into an offer for their time.

If your product helps companies avoid risking noncompliance issues than a request that offers insight into how to avoid specific, yet common compliance issues might be worth 30 minutes.


I was hoping to get 30 minutes of your time to talk about how I might be able to save you thousands in non-compliance fees and avoid common non compliance infractions often found in your industry. Our product has a proven track record of saving our clients x dollars and administrative overhead in the area of non-compliance.

If you’re looking for a streamlined, more effective way to manage compliance and non-compliance issues, this 30 minutes could provide tremendous value.

I’m available at these times, let me know what works best for you or feel free to offer a time that works best for you


A Sales Rep That Values Your Time.

Buyers want to be paid for their time. That payment is in terms of value. If your emails or phones calls can’t offer 30 minutes of value, don’t ask for it. It’s not fair and few people will give it to you.

Do you offer 30 minutes of value?  Is it obvious to buyers? It better be!  That’s the only way you’re gonna get it.