In the second post for our series – Authentic Sales Prospecting Emails: Insights from a CXO: “Why I respond”– we present below prospecting approaches that competent sales professionals presented that hit the mark for our VP of Marketing, John.
We are especially keen to help Sales Leaders, challenged with getting their teams to prospect and get into more deals as a result. Prospecting for new opportunities with our buyers is the most important, focused activity we do as sellers. We place prospecting in its prominence far above all other (important) sales process activities, such as Qualifying, Discovery, and even Closing.
Because prospecting is the opportunity for every seller trying to stand above the rest to resonate relevancy with their ideas and make a connection. This is where we create that one-time spark from a first contact with prospects that makes the connection and influences what happens next. Relevant prospecting conversations pave the way for fit and ready buyers to open up to respond to the sales professional’s inquiries for qualifying; to co-create during discovery and demonstrations; to highly prefer us over our competition, which is essential to winning.
Prospecting is where sales professionals begin solid, successful deals.
So, back to ‘John’, our client Marketing VP, who is collaborating with us to analyze the various prospecting messages he receives from sales professionals who want to sell him something. Below is an example of a prospecting LinkedIn InMail message with John’s brief comments:
Good social touch by this gal…this is the second of its kind she’s done over the last month.
John’s brief comment reveals two ways that this message resonated:
- He indicates this as the second message he’d received, so he saw the first message and took a mental note;
- For my entire career as a female sales professional, when my customers and prospective buyers refer to me as “gal” – I have always considered that a term of endearment. This gal is connecting with John, her helpful and thoughtful anecdotes are serving to build emotional equity with him as well.
Below is a second example of an authentic email touch that received a response from John:
Subject: Traveling to (your city)
As you may know, X Video was started to help companies tell their story with video, and to deliver impressive marketing results through video.
X Video makes it easy to upload and publish videos that can be included in email and web marketing campaigns, including social and YouTube. We also specialize in protected video for internal purposes, training/corporate communications.
We will be in your area May 15th and 16th and would welcome the opportunity to extend our trip to meet with you in person.
Here’s three reasons why you should consider meeting with us:
- We will share ideas that will maximize your investment
- We will share insight into similar teams we’ve spoken to recently, and what other strategies we’re seeing from other marketing leaders.
- After looking at your website and YouTube page, I have a few suggestions on how to drive awareness, engagement and conversion.
How does your calendar look to meet on Wednesday 5/16 or Thursday 5/17?
Below is John’s response to this email:
Thanks for the note. We are currently not in the market for video solutions as we just bought (brand ABC), if you’d like to update what you have on us.
Thanks, and good luck (former X Video customer … good product)
Is it clear why John responded to this first prospecting message?
Is it a stellar message that connected with John? Is it that John is no longer in the market for this category product and it’s easy to write no thanks? Or was it because John is a former customer of the sales person’s product and he has a favorable opinion based on experience with the product?
Personally, I’m left with ‘all the above’ that counted in Zach’s favor.
If you were Zach, what would you do next with John?
- Write a – ‘thanks for letting me know and good luck’ – message
- Update your customer records with the current information and move on
- Write John, again, leveraging the connection you’ve just made and trade on his favorable opinion of your product and ask him again for a meeting of a different kind:
- You are a former customer, you write that you think it’s a good product, but you bought from a competitor – spend 15 minutes with us sharing so we can learn
- We obviously haven’t done a great job staying top of mind with you since you didn’t buy from us. In the event something doesn’t turn out as expected, we’d love a shot to earn your business
- Perhaps there is additional need for features that our competitor can’t fulfill – would you give us time for a brief conversation?
Option #3 is obviously the next right move.
Zach is in an ideal position to re-ask for a meeting with John: He’s made a connection and built emotional equity. John was a satisfied, former customer. Also, what Zach doesn’t know for sure, but could intuit if he’s reading between John’s words – John likes to meet with competent sales people, make a connection, and share ideas with smart people who are helping Marketing executives do their jobs well.
Well done, Zach!
If you’d like to know more about what sales professionals do to resonate relevancy to make a connection, build emotional equity and get into more deals as a result, download our White Paper on the topic: