How to Avoid Becoming a Digital Prospecting Lemming

Kendra Lee

My article “Prospecting Letters Still Open Doors” sparked quite a response from readers recently and I just have to share their ideas with you! They disclosed their best secrets for using letters to gain access to some of their toughest prospects.

Most sellers today prefer to send an email in an attempt to get in the door and secure an appointment. I know because I train thousands of them every year on how to write prospecting emails that’ll get a response. While this strategy absolutely works, a personal letter causes you to stand out in a crowd of digital lemmings – especially in an over-competitive, reluctant marketplace.

These are the top five techniques they shared about using personal letters as a prospecting tool. See which ones you do now and which ones you might want to try to avoid becoming a digital prospecting lemming.

  1. Write a letter you’d like to receive. There’s something special about receiving a nice letter. Your goal is to write a compelling one that the executive will remember. Compelling doesn’t necessarily mean it’s full of issues they may be facing and how you can solve them. It can be a letter of congratulations for an accomplishment you heard about.

Congratulations on the opening of your second office. In today’s challenging market, it’s exciting to see such growth in Denver. Please think of me for any of your computer support needs. I’d be honored to work with a business of your caliber. Congratulations again!

Or, you may share the start of an idea you have about how to help their business soar. (You don’t want to share the complete thought. That you’ll save for when you meet.)

Congratulations on the success of your practice! I noticed your advertisement in the Thursday’s paper and it looks great. I’m sure it’ll be wildly successful for you. Your ad caused me to go to your website to learn more, and I had an idea about how you might reach an extended base of potential patients through it.  It would be an honor to share it with you. 

Draw your prospects in with a personal touch and make them want to speak with you.

  1. Integrate your approach. Letters aren’t as easy to respond to as an email or voicemail, so follow up with a phone call and then an email. What I like about this approach is that we know for a fact people respond differently based on their personal preference. Make it as easy as possible for prospects to thank you for that nice letter you wrote and show their appreciation by setting an appointment.

In your follow up, mention your note, asking if they received it and reinforcing what you wrote. Don’t be shy. Let them know that you’re calling to set a time to meet.

If you wrote a compelling letter, the executive will appreciate it and remember you. Your name will be familiar and he’ll take your call. Several sellers mentioned that they’ve actually had prospects comment when they follow up about how nice it was to receive their note.

  1. Use paper and envelopes that emphasize the personal nature of your letter. Write your message on a note card, greeting card, or monarch sized stationary. As long as your handwriting is legible, it feels much more inviting when your prospect opens it than a typed a letter.

Hand address the envelope and use a real stamp for postage. You want your letter to stand out as important, with no implication that it’s junk mail that should be discarded unopened. Your note needs to stick out when it arrives in the mail room, passes through the assistant, and finally lands on the executive’s desk.

  1. Consider sending a fax. In many industries faxes aren’t as common as they were 15 years ago. Your fax, handwritten, or nicely typed with a signature may stand out simply because people aren’t accustomed to receiving one.

One seller said he uses a series of faxes just as you might send a series of emails. He noted that in one instance where his letter was stopped by the prospect’s assistant, the fax made it through. Not only did he get the first appointment, but his creativity ultimately won him a significant sale.

  1. Don’t stop at one. Numerous sellers mentioned that one letter may not be enough. One cold call or email is never enough, so don’t expect that one letter will be either. Plan to write several letters. After all, you’re prospecting.

Have several ideas you want to share. Do some research. Watch their social media comments to see what they’re focused on or celebrating. Write letters about those.

Switch things up. Don’t always use the same note card or style paper. Consider sending a postcard with a fun picture on the front.

The rush toward digital prospecting as a singular strategy leaves a gaping hole for you to step through to distinguish yourself. When you reach out with a personal letter, prospects will remember you and take your call.

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