Has your team mastered the basics of writing sales prospecting emails and bemoaned they still don’t get replies from cold prospects? Are they blaming gatekeepers, voicemail and the email delete barrier for not meeting their assigned first time appointment metrics?
No doubt about it, these are roadblocks to gaining access to decision-makers, but your sales reps could be missing two critical success factors in their cold call and email prospecting approach: personalization and personality.
Why Personalization and Personality Matter in Prospecting
In today’s social media world, people freely share everything. In marketing, social commenting is designed to start conversations by being personal and engaging.
Yet, in sales, reps are still stuck in the ultra-professional, IBM white-collar ways. Being a former IBMer, I like professionalism and respect. However, that stiff conversational style in cold calls and emails no longer draws prospects in. While decision-makers don’t want happy hour chit chat, they do expect a looser, friendlier discussion. A good way to describe it is one that’s similar to a networking event.
If your reps are going to get noticed, guide them to drop the conservative professionalism and let their personalities out of the box (within reason, of course).
Which Call Would You Take?
The prospecting voicemail and email messages that catch business owners’ and execs’ attention aren’t just focused on their priorities. They are also interesting.
Which of these two voicemails would you be more interested in taking?
Sally’s Cold Call Example
Hi Jack. This is Sally with ABC Company. This is my fourth call. I just wanted to talk with you about…. My number is… Please call me and let’s talk.
Belinda’s Cold Call Example
Hey Jack! This is Belinda with ABC Company! Things must be really busy there or hopefully you’re off biking some fabulous terrain! Whichever it is (and I hope it’s the latter as I’m a cyclist myself), we haven’t been able to connect about … Let’s definitely set up a call. My number is… Let’s talk!
You’d take Belinda’s call, of course. You can hear the energy in her exclamation points, the smile in her voice. She included all the critical information but made it fun. While Sally knew from her LinkedIn and web research that Jack was a cyclist, Belinda connected with it personally and incorporated it into her message.
Even if Jack doesn’t have a need, odds are he’ll respond to Belinda to let her know. He may take a call or reply to an email simply to talk briefly about cycling and learn a bit about what Belinda’s company does for future reference. And, if the conversation goes well, Jack may refer her to a colleague who does need her services now.
Belinda wins. She made a lasting impression with a new executive contact, set a first time appointment and secured a referral too.
Wouldn’t you like all your salespeople to do the same?
How to Add Personalization
With 3 quick steps reps can uncover what they need to add personalization and personality to cold emails, cold calls, voicemails and LinkedIn messages.
- Do quick Google and LinkedIn research to uncover enough information to identify both a business reason to reach out and a personal tidbit to incorporate.
- Have each rep identify which of their own interests, hobbies and experiences they’re comfortable sharing. These are the ones they can watch for as they research.
- Encourage salespeople to use their interests in their prospecting activities. Now they sound more interesting.
Don’t stop with personalization though. Push reps to infuse their personalities in their prospecting.
Infuse Personality in Cold Calls and Emails
Personality directly relates to style. When we write content for clients whose lead generation campaigns we manage, the first thing we do is identify the owners’ personality style to model it. Your reps should do the same for themselves.
Encourage your sales staff to loosen up. Allow them to write and speak comfortably while remaining professional.
Belinda’s cold call example started with “hey” rather than “hi.” Another rep may say, “good afternoon, Jack.” It’s a combination of content and inflection that reflects the rep.
Can Every Rep Adapt Their Prospecting Strategy?
Not every salesperson will be comfortable loosening their cold call and email approach. Those who cannot will have to make more dials, send more emails, and suffer more rejection to meet their first time appointment objectives. Plus, they’ll find it harder to secure follow on meetings.
The strength of your solutions must make up for your team’s relationship building gaps. That’s added pressure on the whole company.
If your solutions lack differentiation, are still in development, or fall short compared to your competitors, it’s critical that your sales reps be able to infuse personalization and personality into their prospecting and sales process. These two critical success factors will make up for a multitude of solution and service gaps. After all, people buy from people they like. And that relationship starts with the prospecting approach your reps employ.
If your sales reps sound old-school in their prospecting cold calls, emails and voicemails, contact us. Let’s coach and train your team how to infuse more personalization and personality into their sales strategy and close more first time appointments.