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Selling to Dot Com – Can You Hear Me Now?

December 4, 2008

Written by Meredith Oliver

Do you work on the computer with the television or radio playing in the background? Do you talk on your cell phone while driving or shopping? Prefer email or instant message to a phone conversation? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are one of 100 million U.S. adults who are “media multitasking“. According to researchers at, consumers now live a 43-hour day filled with 16 hours of interaction with media and technology; up from 10 hours a day in 2000. Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new “Multitasking Consumers: Distracted or Connected?” states that “With the amount of multitasking the best strategy is to assume that attention waxes and wanes during media usage and that full engagement is no longer realistic expectation.”


  1. Be persistent. Dot Com is a busy woman. She works full time, manages the household and volunteers at church. Don’t take it personally that your one follow-up email or phone call was ignored. Keep following up.
  2. Follow-up should be personal, relevant and meaningful. Do you know her favorite color? Do you know the name of her kids or dogs? Do you know “what’s happened” to cause her to consider purchasing a new home? The more you know about her, the more likely your follow-up will receive a response.
  3. Write like you talk. Ditch the email form letters on steroids. They are boring and ineffective. On an average day online, Dot Com has multiple Windows open (sorry Mac users) checking email, working on a spreadsheet, instant messaging an old friend and posting updates to Facebook all at the same time! If your email comes in sounding like a boring form letter it will get deleted. Start writing like a human being wrote the email and she will respond.
  4. Enthusiasm sells. Email is a cold medium. It has no tone so you have to over-do the enthusiasm quotient. Just channel me! I think my writing comes across very enthusiastic…maybe it’s my excessive use of exclamation points. Either way, bold, italics, underline and yes exclamation points are a great way to add energy and enthusiasm to an email. Break through the monotony of a dreary in-box with a friendly, enthusiastic email.
  5. Go for an appointment. The best way to get Dot Com’s attention is to get her away from the computer and in your sales office. You will still have to deal with a cell phone and possibly kids hanging from every limb, but you have a much better chance of selling her a home if she is in front of you. Every email, phone call or text should ask her to take a next step towards a purchase. Even if it’s a baby step, keep asking!

Remember, you could do all of these things perfectly and still get no response. Go back to #1 and rinse and repeat! Persistence is everything with Dot Com. Emails get trapped in spam folders, get deleted by other users and sometimes just get buried under other more pressing tasks. It doesn’t mean she isn’t interested in buying a home. It just means she is busy working on the computer, cooking dinner, solving the latest homework problem and text messaging Mr. Com all at the same time!

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