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  • Writer's pictureIan McWilliams

I counted my chickens before they hatched...

Updated: May 5, 2023

new chick standing next to an unhatched egg
Chick and egg - don't count the chickens just yet!

I spent a long time crafting (what I thought) was the perfect email. Not full of sales speak, not pushy, not boring.

In fact I it was personable, to the point, friendly, reflected my personality and really resonated with my target market. This email went to a particular customer I've known for many years, am extremely close and friendly with them and who have certainly conducted a lot of business with me over a very long period of time.

I always like to view my emails from my customer's point of view - would I open it if I were them? Is it short enough and interesting enough to actually read once it's been opened?

Most importantly, if I was my customer reading said email, would I be moved to want to find out more, to reach out and reply, or indeed to buy off the basis of this communication?

I honestly answered 'yes' to the above. I was confident. Time went by and I followed up the email a couple of times, the mood music I was getting back was good.

Yes you guessed it, I began to count my chickens...before they had hatched.

digital calculator showing 0 on the display
Ian's total sales from his carefully crafted email!

I waited, followed up again, waited more but I was increasingly confident that I had the sale in the bag - and then the reply came, it was negative.

By this time I'd practially added the sale into my personal figures I keep for the month and I was beginning to think that this month is going to be a really good one.

What a silly boy I was! NEVER count your chickens until they have hatched!

I always knew this, it has been drummed into me during my decades of sales experience - but we are all only human and sometimes we (I) get carried away! I love sales, I love helping business sell more by listening to their wants and needs and tailoring what I do to ensure they have a higher probability of making more sales.

It's what I do and what I love helping others to do. But sometimes, just sometimes it's a case of do as I say, but not as I do!

It's tough out there right now - we all need to work smarter and in my view make long lasting partnerships with our B2B customers to ensure we all do well moving forward.

What I must always remember is to never, ever count my chickens - until they have hatched then I will have great joy counting them!

Even though my email didn't work with this particular customer, I consistently have had great success with wording emails, flyers, pitches etc.

If you'd like me to quote you for helping you write in a way that will entice more of your customers more of the time, please email me at or send a WhatsApp message to 07500 931051.

I look forward to helping you.

Ian McWilliams

May 2023

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