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Sales can be a discouraging profession. You could write the greatest sales email of all time, and a decision maker still wouldn't respond to it if they just happen to be running to a meeting, in the midst of a horrible day, or just plain grumpy. And sadly, all of these things are out of your control.

However, don't throw up your hands and dramatically exclaim "It's hopeless!" quite yet. While your decision maker's schedule, workload, and mood are out of your hands, there are still things you can do to increase the chances of a reply. 

In her post "Why Your Pitch Sucks (and How to Fix It)," Claire Diaz-Ortiz provides a heaping dose of sound advice for how to get influential people to pay attention to your message.

"If you want an influencer to help you, make your ask up front," Diaz-Ortiz writes. But "never ask an influencer to brainstorm. The reality is that very busy people you want something from almost never have time to brainstorm with you. They also don't have time to prioritize 'building a relationship' with you. 

This is why autobiographical intro emails that hope for vague relationship building and end without an ask never work," she concludes. 

After spending some time perfecting your pitch, check out five more of the week's most intriguing sales articles below.

1) 7 Small Changes That Have a Big Impact on Your Presentation by Julie Hansen

Polish up your presentation with these handy tips.

2) How to Measure Your Client Relationship Strength by Mike Schultz

These seven questions can reveal if your client is with you for the long-term ... or if they're on their way out.

3) 5 Shortcuts For Salespeople by Anthony Iannarino

Think scrimping on prospecting is a time-saver? Think again.

4) Sales Intuition: How to Use It and Improve It by Roger Dooley

For all the data out there on the best ways and times to sell, your gut might actually know better.

5) 3 Smart Ways Successful Salespeople Win the Deal by Barrett Riddleberger

Great article, somewhat misleading title. Learn how to customize your sales messaging depending on the seniority level of your prospect.

What were your favorite sales articles from this week? Share in the comments.

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Originally published Jun 26, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017

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Sales News