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The official blog of AG Salesworks, Sales Prospecting Perspectives will give readers an insight to the challenges of managing a targeted outbound Sales Prospecting effort and team.

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Using Email Effectively for Teleprospecting

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As we covered last week, voicemail is without a doubt a critical component of the sales prospecting process. But, if you assume that you'll always receive a call back from a message, you obviously haven't spent much time making cold calls during your career. From our experience you should expect at best a 2-3% response rate. If that's the case you may be asking yourself 'what's the point of even picking up the phone'? What we have discovered over the years is that if you can weave email effectively into your call plan you will produce a response much faster than if you were to exclusively lean on your voicemail messages. On the other hand you also can't assume that if you focus solely on mass emailing your prospects that you will get a better response. The two must absolutely work hand-in-hand.

With all of that being said, there are some obvious benefits to email.  Let's put yourself into the mind of the prospect:  if you had the choice of either calling a sales guy back, or responding to his email, what would you prefer? Your timing could be uncanny and you may, on occasion, stumble upon an active project. It doesn't happen often, but cold calling is a numbers game so you are bound to get lucky at some stage. Even at that point they are generally more inclined to respond via email regarding the project, and the reason being is that no one wants to get caught up talking to a sales guy unless it's on their terms. Bottom line is email allows the prospect to feel they have control of the interaction.

So now that we know a prospect is more inclined to respond to an email, here are a few suggestions on how to craft your message in a way that will capture their attention:

  • Powerful subject lines- You need something that can help to catch their attention. Keep it simple. If it is more than 10 words they probably won't take the time to open it.
  • Personalize your email- Do everything you can to make sure your email does not look like the spam that lands in a decision maker's in-box every day. You want the email to appear to have a specific message that could touch on their specific pain-points. Devise your content around what role they serve within the organization, what pains they may be feeling and how your service can help. Obviously it is important to include your contact information so it doesn't look like a corporate blast from your every-day email marketing tool.
  • KEEP IT SHORT- If they can't get a general sense of what you do within a 20 second read...start over. I would suggest bullet points as a clean way to deliver your key features and benefits. Your initial e-mail should contain a brief introductory paragraph, 4-5 bullet points (specifically addressing their pains) and then a brief closing statement w/ your contact info attached for follow up. For everyone's sake, avoid lame adjectives to describe your product like "powerful"'re better than that.

Now that we have understanding of how to craft an effective message, the next step is coming up with a plan to execute. Next week I want to discuss the importance of a focused call plan and a few tips on reducing the time/dials it takes to find your target audience.


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