Emails don’t sell. People do. Yes, I know I’m going to take a lot of flak for that, especially from the digital marketers. But the reality is if you are in a business-to-business selling environment, emails do not sell.
Emails can open doors. I should know. I’ve written a wildly popular ebook about how to prospect more effectively with email and it really does increase your appointment rate. But look deeper, and you’ll find that isn’t the only thing happening. It’s only one piece of the whole new business development puzzle.
Why am I sharing this when we develop and implement email campaigns as part of our clients’ lead generation strategies? Because so many people I talk to about their new client acquisition strategy believe you can use nurturing emails alone to gain access to new prospects. That’s just not how it works.
Emails aren’t a sales catalyst.
Emails are outstanding for getting your message out in the market. They are fabulous for educating contacts. They succeed at driving people to your blog, website, social profiles and events. They move prospects from Awareness to Interest in the Client Buy Cycle. They even move some people to the point of Desire.
But they don’t sell.
What about all those digital marketers who are selling through email? They have cool sales offers on their websites. Sales funnels drive people from one lead magnet to the next, right up to the shopping cart. Isn’t that selling through email? Yup. But it isn’t your kind of selling.
What are they selling? Programs that require little or no human interface to make a decision.
They aren’t selling IT managed services. They aren’t selling software application development. They aren’t selling benefits and compliance consulting services.
Those services all require a sales conversation.
Emails point people to gathering lots of information to educate themselves on what they think they want. But in the end, before going too far into the sales process, your prospects need a requirements conversation. They want to discuss their business situation. They want to review a proposal written just for them.
So, what do you do? Should you stop emailing and go back to a singular cold calling strategy? Nope.
Use your email nurturing campaign to set up the conversation. Then call – with the recognition that this isn’t just any conversation. It’s a sales call.
You aren’t simply touching base to confirm if a contact is receiving your emails. Or to see if they have any questions about the topic you emailed. It’s a sales prospecting call using prospecting techniques to set the first appointment and start the sales process.
That means you want to:
- Qualify this is the right contact and company to sell to.
- Qualify it’s the right time to meet.
- Set an appointment only if the timing is right.
Your purpose in this call is not to close for a meeting. It’s to confirm there is an opportunity to work together and establish a timeframe for the next conversation.
If you’ve uncovered an opportunity for the next 60-90 days, close for a meeting now. If the right timeline to talk is 3-6 months, schedule a meeting with the prospect for that timeframe. And, if the opportunity is even further in the future, continue your email nurturing to stay in front of them without pressure. Continue educating, building interest and fostering desire.
Emails don’t sell. But they do warm up prospects making it easy for you to call and start the sales conversation. Don’t confuse the purpose of the two approaches.
If you’re feeling like your new business development strategy is confused and you aren’t achieving your objectives, email me and let’s schedule a call to discuss how we might be able to assist. (See how I suggested a call?) Of course, you can call us, too, at 303-741-6636.