If you’ve ever been in a sales role, there is a very good chance you’ve sent an email to a prospect and never received a reply. At first it’s discouraging, but then you pick yourself up and are on to the next one. After all, the more emails you send, the more likely it is that someone will respond, right? While sales can be a numbers game, it doesn’t mean you can’t be strategic. In fact, the emails you send to prospects can be what makes or breaks the sale. Each email matters, but it can be time-consuming to think up something original and personal each time. Cut down the work by following the do’s and don’ts below.
- Do put yourself in the recipient’s shoes.
You wouldn’t want to open an email that isn’t of any use to you, and your prospects feel the same way. Gauging your prospect’s needs, problems, and priorities is a good way to grab their attention. Your subject line should be empathetic and personal, and give the prospect a reason to open it. Helping, advising, and answering questions will not only get your email noticed, but will give you credibility for showing that you care.
- Do have a purpose.
What is the reason you’re writing this email? Whether you’re trying to set up a time for a meeting or call, trying to close the loop on a deal, or rekindling a cold lead, it is important to make that purpose clear in your email. Even if your purpose is to gauge someone’s interest in your product or service, make sure you add some value. If you can share relevant sales content, blog posts, news stories or even tweets with your prospect, your email is much more likely to stand out from the pack.
- Do use your personality.
No one wants to receive emails from a robot. If you are sending multiple emails to a single prospect, make sure they vary in length, subject and wording. Using the same subject line and simply changing the recipient’s name doesn’t count. Sales is all about making a connection and forming a relationship with potential customers. Do your homework (LinkedIn, Twitter, website bios) and try to find out what your prospect is interested in. Use any shared interests to form that important connection while showcasing your own personality.
- But, don’t creep them out.
On the other hand, using too much personality to get a prospect’s attention can yield negative results. For example, I’ve seen emails signed off with “I love you” to get the prospect to do a double-take. Meant to be funny and lighthearted, this can come off as inappropriate, unprofessional, and just plain weird. Don’t get too casual. Coming off as buddy-buddy by using greetings like “Hey man” can be off-putting for some people, especially if you’re reaching out to executives.
- Don’t “just check in.”
Why should someone put in the effort to respond to or entertain your email if the only effort you’re putting in is to “just check in?” This shows that you really have nothing to bring to the table, which gives prospects a very good reason to ignore your email. You have unlimited resources thanks to the internet that allow you to personalize and enrich your emails. Include relevant news links, answers to common questions you’ve seen in your industry, or content from your own company that can help the person. You should never send an email as naked as “just checking in.”