Email is so much easier to use for prospecting than the phone. You can write it at any time day or night. You don’t have to worry about being hung up on and you won’t catch your client “at a bad time.” But it’s also easily deleted with no response. When you put yourself into your email, your chances of getting prospects to respond escalate. You stand apart from the other sellers who blend together as Inbox
Sound hard? It doesn’t have to be.
You know that it’s your personality and message that distinguish you on the phone. But, when you write, you have to be really careful that the words you choose let your personality shine through. If your prospect can’t feel your personality,
you’re no different than any other seller trying to get time on his calendar.
Here’s the story of two sellers I’ve been working with and their very different email prospecting results: Eric, who follows the email prospecting rules perfectly, and Mae, who breaks the rules and allows her personality to shine.
Eric sells IT maintenance services. He does most of his prospecting
via email because he doesn’t like to cold call. He has an outstanding
value proposition including impressive financial results clients
have received in reducing unplanned IT expenditures.Eric adapts his value proposition to the group
he’s targeting and follows all the email prospecting
- Limits the length to 4-5 sentences
- Uses only 1 link
- Includes a tag line in his signature
- Provides his phone and contact information
- Includes an offer his prospect can respond to if interested
- Writes a compelling subject line
Eric has utilized best-practices tactics for email, but even
quoting impressive financial results and a client testimonial, he only gets replies from 10% of his prospects. Look at how Mae both uses those tactics and then goes
beyond the norm to ensure her personality helps her make stronger
connections.Mae sells IT software and servers. She does
most of her prospecting via email because she sees how easy it
is to grab prospects’ interest and for them to click reply. She
identifies a small group of prospects to target, uses a value
proposition like Eric’s, then breaks the prospecting
- Mentioning something about herself in every email, from
running in an upcoming marathon to the kids being out on fall
break in two weeks
- Consistently following up over the course of a month, gently
pushing for a connection. Each time Mae forwards the previous
emails with a general, but personal, note about the prospect:
how busy they must be now that it’s fourth quarter; or, are
the leaves turning?
- Including a simple : emoticon in her third or forth email
to reinforce something personal she’s written if it suits the
content: Go Broncos!! :
- Writing a personal subject line, such as: Can we talk?,
or Checking your availability Tuesday at 3:00
Mae’s emails let her interest in talking with her prospect
– and her personality – shine through. She becomes a real person
who sat down at her PC to email this specific prospect. Her emails
let prospects she’s never met know it’s her sending the email,
not some marketing system, and in turn, as they realize it, they
reply. As Mae continues to email them, a whopping
85% of prospects reply!
So how do you let your personality out and get 85% of your prospects to hit reply?
- Mention a tidbit about yourself. One time I emailed a bunch of prospects during my birthday month and told them all it was my birthday that month! I got nearly a 100% reply rate and started a conversation with every one.
- Picture your prospect and write as if you already know him. You know what job your prospect has, so talk about something he can relate to.
- Make it easy to reply by suggesting a couple of times to talk. You’ve been friendly and now you’re eliminating the work in scheduling a time to talk. Of course, he’s going to respond because you’ve given him a valuable reason to take you up on your offer.
As your prospect gets to know you through your emails, he will respond as he would to anyone else he knows personally. After an email conversation, he’ll want to talk to you because he knows you, likes you, and feels comfortable with you. By combining best practices with your personality, your emails will become a productive prospecting tool – instead of a shot into the Inbox abyss.