Let me paint a scenario. You open a sales email and see glaring mistakes in spelling. Not only that, but the content of the email itself just does not look right. The author of this email is not effectively communicating his or her message due to language inability. Are you going to engage in the sales process with this person? Probably not.
What if this person was a member of your staff? Perhaps someone you directly manage. Multiple ineffective sales emails could cost your company thousands of dollars in missed opportunity.
However, there is hope. The sales emails that this employee is sending out could be vastly improved. Providing training for your L2 English employees will make them more effective at communicating with prospects and clients, increasing both the value of the employee to your company and your company’s earnings.
Here are two things you can do to improve sales email for your L2 English staff:
First, provide a model of what works. Show your staff the correct form of email. What this means is show them the form and format of an industry standard email. When creating any kind of business correspondence, the writer needs to write with the discourse community in mind. The discourse community is the group of people involved in the correspondence. In this case, the prospects or potential clients and the author of the email are the members of the discourse community. When writing to potential clients, there is a “right” way that the email is supposed to look. We all know this through experience. However, your L2 English staff do not necessarily know the conventions of the discourse community and need to be shown the correct way to write sales emails.
Second, have your L2 English staff send a draft for feedback. Do this a few times a week. You or a manager in your company may not have the time to go over each email, but working with a few emails a week is both manageable for you and the L2 English employee. Be particularly careful with providing feedback. Focus your feedback on one to three points. Sandwich your criticism between two positive comments. Have the employee make changes and then send back to you. You can keep these over time as a measure of progress.
By following these steps, you will be able to see demonstrable improvement in your L2 English staff’s business writing.
This is information is specifically for training your ESL employees in improving their sales emails. If you are interested in improving sales performance for all your staff, I would recommend looking at this website: http://www.jillkonrath.com/
The concept of acquiring skills is one of the reasons I founded Skill House Learning. In a big way, skills define who you are. Skill are one thing no one can take away from you. For myself, skills not only provide practical application in one’s life but also direction and a foundation of one’s purpose. For me, developing skills is a lifelong journey. High level ability does not come easy, but with practice and dedication we can all achieve great things through developing skills.
Teaching Methodology at Skill House Learning
Based on my observations, beliefs, and personal experience as a teacher and language learner, I have developed a unique teaching method. Essentially, I look at learning a language with three components: vocabulary, applied vocabulary, and language patterns. Vocabulary is the base level. One needs to develop an understanding of individual words as first step. When moving up in language ability levels, one component is increasing the size of one’s vocabulary. For instance, I will be taking the HSK Chinese language fluency test this December, testing at level 4 out of 6. In order to advance to the next level, one of piece of that is continually working to expand my vocabulary in my target language.
In addition to expanding vocabulary one needs to know how words fit together with other words. This is grammar and it is also roots, prefixes, suffixes, as well as verbal tenses. Knowing how words fit together makes it easier to infer and recognize meaning when approaching new vocabulary.
Thirdly, after acquiring vocabulary and an understanding of how the words fit together, the next step is language patterns. To understand language patterns is to understand natural communication. When I first moved to China, I would learn language patterns in Chinese by riding with cab drivers and having them ask me the same set of questions each day. I developed automatic responses to each question. I knew that when I would here that, I should say this. This automatic response is the work of understanding language patterns.