Guest post by Skip Miller
Think about how many e-mails end up in your inbox each morning, and how much of your day is spent hitting the “reply” or “trash” button. I am amazed at the number of sales people who are prospecting (or not) and using e-mails to try to get something started. Yes, e-mails are “safe”; phone calls are better. That said, if you have to e-mail there are five golden rules to help your e-mail make the “reply” round, and avoid the “trash” button. Read on for tips on crafting those effective emails.
1. Keep it Short
Brevity is key in all forms of communication today. 100 words or less. At a quick (and I mean quick!) glance, you want your prospect to discover:
- Who you are, and what company you represent
- How you identify with their challenges
- An invitation to talk personally
2. It’s all about them – Not You!
Count how many times you say your own name or company in an e-mail. Now count how many times you reference the prospect. What’s the score? It better be on the prospect’s side. We’re identifying with them in this e-mail; not pushing yourself or your services on them.
- The reason for this email is I would like to quickly find out from you if what we offer is of any interest to you...
- Executives like yourself are asking questions like:
- How can I...
- Is there a way to lower...
- How can I stop...
- The rest of 20XX is looking optimistic on many fronts. Would like to spend 15 minutes talking about your challenges for the rest of this year and the start of 20XX.
Also, Use referrals and references. It is the number one way to get a cold call to a warm call.
3. Use Questions
Questions get the prospect’s gears turning and they are more likely to be engaged (sales people tend to think questions are meaningless). Statements go right over the prospect’s head (while sales people tend to love them). Please remember to use ‘AWAY’ questions so you can minimize the rejection rate.
4. Use AWAY Language
A common challenge with sales people is the tendency to push features and benefits on a prospect. While this makes us as sales people feel great, it does little to impress the prospect. 80% of people will run away from pain, rather than towards pleasure. Example: DON’T say, "Our software processes 50% faster and costs less than Company XYZ!" DO Say, "Are you finding yourself frustrated with the processing speed of your current software? Do you find the costs outweighing the benefits with the software you’re currently using?"
5. Call to action
End your email with a ‘call to action’. What is going to happen next? Some examples would be:
- Invite them to a phone conversation, or tell them when you are going to call them back
- Insert appointment download
- Give them options
Prospecting is an action that needs to be done year round. Remember, the best way to create energy is by picking up the phone, but e-mailing can be effective if you follow the five golden rules!
Skip Miller is Founder and President of M3 Learning, a ProActive Sales and Sales Management Training Company based in the heart of Silicon Valley.
This article was from Infusionsoft Blog and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.