- I share a heartbreaking story about my granddaughter here…(Don’t worry, it’s heartbreaking for the salesperson, not my granddaughter).
Two things. First off, I would use an ellipsis sparingly in my writing, but this guy’s emails are simply stuffed with ellipses. One once in a great while is one thing…too many, and you look wishy washy. So, I’d rephrase and not use the ellipsis. Second thing is that…well, the more I look at this, the less I like it, from a punctuation standpoint. Is that period the last point, making it a 4-point ellipsis with an intervening parenthetical aside? Do we have a 3-point ellipsis and then the parenthetical aside? In that case, the period should be inside the parentheses. Gee, I’m confused. Let’s look at another sentence.
2) Here are the three “sales realities” that are affecting your sales today – – no matter what industry, niche or product you sell.
Why the quotation marks? Quotation marks for expressions should be used very sparingly, and I wouldn’t suggest them in an unremarkable phrase like “sales realities.” Also, what’s with the two hyphens? Plus, I’d stick a comma after “niche.”
3) Quite simply – – information about you, your product, service, reviews, competition… and price… is at the touch of a fingertip these days.
Yuck! This is a mess. I’d write it like this:
Quite simply, information about you—your products, services, reviews, competition, and price—is available at the touch of a fingertip these days.
4) You can make sales without “fighting prospects”.
Periods and commas are always placed inside quotation marks in American English. And since this guy is headquartered in California…
5) However — if you know the “seven key results areas” top performers focus on… and how they practically avoid negotiations and “price wars”…
Yes, this is a fragment. Okay. First thing, no dash after the “however”—use a comma. Second thing. We’ll let him slide with the quotes about “seven key results areas” because it’s part of the specific language of his pitch. But! (Third thing.) We won’t let him slide about the quotes around “price wars.” Fourth thing. No space after an ellipsis inside a sentence. Fifth thing. I hate that ellipsis after “price wars.”
6) What if I were to tell you –you could double your income this year– simply by making small, miniscule changes to the way you do business… in just seven key areas?
Hello! Hello! You’ve just got to run your material through spellcheck, everyone. Since when is minuscule spelled “mini”scule?
Now, the thing about dashes is that you have to be able to take out all the material inside a pair of dashes and have your sentence make sense. If it doesn’t, then you haven’t placed your dashes correctly. This is the same rule whether the parenthetical information is enclosed by a pair of commas or dashes or parentheses: you must be able to remove the parenthetical material and have the sentence make sense. So, my friends, does this sentence make sense without the parenthetical material? No, no it does not.
And that’s not the only problem. “Small” and “minuscule” are virtually identical, so, why, pray, are they used in the same sentence?
Plus, no way should you underline under a dash. Boo!
And, finally, no space after a 3-point ellipsis.
The sentence should read like this:
What if I were to tell you that you could double your income this year simply by making small changes to the way you do business…in just seven key areas?
7) What if I told you — you could be outselling and making more money than all your peers in your industry, niche or office — in just 35 weeks or less?
Again, the dashes here are wrong, wrong, wrong.
Plus, if you can count something, you can’t use “less.” You have to use “fewer.” Here’s the way to remember that rule: Fewer snowflakes, less snow.
8) And in my opinion… millions of sales reps now have obsolete skills. (You may be one of them)!
Whew. Comma after “and.” Comma after “opinion.” And, that exclamation point needs to go inside the parenthesis, not outside. This is piss-poor writing.
9) More big companies are cash rich than ever before – yet are also more reluctant to spend it.
What’s that hyphen doing there? You need a dash. Plus, what does “it” refer to? Sure, the writer means “cash,” but that is not what he or she said. The work-around could be “More big companies have more cash than ever before…” Again, that’s not what is said.
10) This level of “Fear of Spending” may be here for a long time… which unfortunately means there’s no room for ‘average’ salespeople in this economic climate.
Lots to see and comment on in this little gem. Okay, why the quotation marks and capitalization in “Fear of Spending”? The “specialness” of this phrase does not meet the threshold of requiring quotation marks. Then there’s another ellipsis with an incorrect space. Then, why (oh, why!) is “average” in quotes, much less SINGLE QUOTES, which is so, so, so wrong?
11) You see… these top earners use simple but very specific techniques — in what I call the “7 Key Results Areas”.
Mistake #1. Ellipsis with space
Mistake #2. I’ve been looking at that dash for a while…and I can’t decide exactly why I don’t like it, but that’s one of the perils of poor writing…you put your readers’ hackles up, and they just can’t give one questionable punctuation mark a pass. And that, my friends, is a major mistake!
Mistake #3. Hey, people, repeat after me: Commas and periods are always placed inside quotation marks, and there are no exceptions to this rule.
12) It’s like you’ve joined the “Insiders Club” of top sales performers when you fully understand and use the “7 Key Results Areas”
Yuck! Where’s the period? And why is “insiders club” in quotes and capitalized?
13) Can It Really Be That Simple To Join The Ranks Of Six and Seven Figure Earners?
Well, for consistency’s sake, “and” should have been capitalized in this caption, but the main problem is he doesn’t use my favorite rule: the “Suspended Hyphen Rule.” Oh, do I love that rule. Here it is: …Six- and Seven-Figure Earners.
14) In the past 30 days I have improved my sales by 27% percent.
Hmm. Don’t use the % sign in formal writing, and never, ever, follow it by the word “percent.” Very sloppy. Plus, since you have an introductory clause, use a comma after “days”: In the past 30 days, I have improved my sales by 27 percent.
15) The truth is, the 7 Results Areas aren’t “new” or “secrets”.
Why is that comma there? Sheesh. Plus, the phrase “7 Results Areas” appears nowhere else in the text, which is problematic. And, there’s that mistake about quotation marks again!
16) How to figure out exactly what your prospect’s core problem is… and “fit” your product or service to their needs…
“Prospect’s” is a singular possessive noun, so you can’t use the plural possessive “their.” If you keep your noun singular, you’d have to say “his or her needs.” If, however, you changed the sentence to read “your prospects’ core problems are,” you could use “their.” Plus, why is “fit’ in quotation marks? It’s not nearly special enough to be set off with quotes.
17) We’ve already talked about the “3 Sales Realities”.
Well, I’ll give them credit: they are pretty much consistently wrong.
18) Four keys to uncovering “overlooked hot prospects”. (This is the top performer’s secret to getting more “yeses”. He sees what others miss, making selling easier and stress free)!
Why the parentheses? Why can’t you all get that quotation mark rule right? Why is that exclamation mark outside the parenthesis, when it should be inside? Geesh.
19) How to “out-flank” your competition and keep the best prospects for yourself… even if you’re selling the same product for a higher price! (This works even on “price-shoppers”)!
No quotes around “out flank.” No space after the ellipsis. And when you write a stand-alone sentence inside parentheses, then the punctuation goes inside, not outside.
20) Identify the “high success-ratio” prospects with ease. These are people likely to buy and keep on buying. (Now you can leave all the “tough sells” to your competition)
Don’t like those quotation marks, and you need some sort of punctuation (inside the parentheses) in the “Now you can…” sentence.
21) The customer today is extremely skeptical and suspicious. They are terrified of making a bad buying decision, of losing money, of making mistakes.
Noun-pronoun mistake: “the customer” is singular, and “they” is plural.
22) They “perform”.
Again (and again), quotation marks always are placed outside periods and commas.
23) This prevents overwhelm, non-action and procrastination.
Since when is “overwhelm” a noun?