3 Reasons You Should Never Say Sorry in a Sales Email

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Gabrielle Hughes
Content Marketing Manager

3 Reasons You Should Never Say Sorry in a Sales Email

In sales emails, it can be tempting to apologize for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’ve left someone hanging for too long, or you’ve been confronted with a list of ways in which your product or service has disappointed a client. Or, maybe you simply feel bad for even bothering your prospect with the cold outreach.

Apologizing may come naturally, but it is not always the best route. Here are three reasons why you should never say “sorry” in a sales email:

It sets a negative tone

Every negative in a sales email can be repurposed as a positive - it’s all how you spin it. “Sorry for the delay” can be reframed as “Thank you for your patience,” which flatters the recipient and demonstrates that you are grateful for their time. Instead of apologizing when your product is not satisfying a client, try, “I’m disappointed to hear that you feel that way. What can I do to fix it?” Or, “I’m concerned by the issue you’ve brought up. Let me look into it for you.” Always offer an expression of acknowledgment followed by the promise of a solution. You may not have all the answers right away, but you can still give your prospect the confidence that they are in good hands.

It puts you at a disadvantage

While your sentiment may be genuine, sorries can signal clumsiness and incompetence. Each one you pile on makes it seem like you - and, by extension, your company - don’t know what you’re doing. When starting or maintaining a relationship with a sales email, the last thing you want to do is put yourself at a disadvantage by appearing insecure and taking the blame for things that are not your fault. Instead of undermining your own credibility, take a more assured stance, so you don’t inadvertently create a power imbalance you can’t reverse.

The more you say it, the less it means

Next time you’re about to say sorry, consider why you are saying it. Are you needlessly apologizing? Are you truly at fault? If you find that apologizing is just your reflexive reaction, keep in mind that by using any word in excess you will start to dilute its meaning over time. Fortunately, with sales emails, you have the power to edit. Proofread your emails before sending them and cut the apology speech so your message is clear, direct, and confident. Incorporating proofreading into your sales process will help you determine your triggers and work to correct the habit going forward. That way, when an apology is truly in order, your client will know you mean it.

Want more cold email tips? Check out our guide "Nailing the Art of Cold Emailing" here.


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