The past few months I’ve been trying everything to get email responses from prospects. In the past I always exceeded in being the ’email queen’ able to draft relevant emails and get meaningful connection through email…but things shifted starting earlier this year.
I’ve noticed it is harder and harder to penetrate the frozen fortress of client’s inboxes. The majority of outreach (call and emailing) goes unanswered – leaving me out in the cold. I have been stumped…but always a problem solver I’ve continue to work on figuring out ways to provide meaningful impact for potential clients.
In taking stock of a few of my recent emails – I realized as tailored as they were they lacked several critical points:
- Why Now – our product may be relevant, but what is the urgency for booking time. There is not specific relevant urgency to encourage the prospect feel the urgency to explore value now, versus deferring to a future date.
- Tailored, but not tailored enough…on average C-Suite professionals receive 100-200 emails per day. Simply crafting a well-written email is not enough to get a response, let alone a meeting. C-Suite execs expect that you already understand their business needs and speak to the PAIN before you reach out. Each email needs to be addressed to that unique individual and their role at the company.
- Too long/Too Short: Shorter emails yield a higher conversion rate, as most of us live in the mobile era of quick reads on the go. We want the point and purpose instantly – without longwinded language and conversation. Some of my emails, though well-written were simply too long for an intro email.
- On the flip side, you need to have purpose, point and why in the email. It may seem logical to lean into a simple email like ‘Hey can we connect about (your company) and technology next week?’ – that gets to the point but lacks purpose. Too much brevity will quickly be deleted and look unprofessional because you are not showing that you can provide value – and their time (like yours) is extremely valuable.
I fell into some bad habits – copy and paste and templates that you customize a bit when writing the email can serve a purpose, but in this hyper competitive space for getting prospects attention – the slightly tailored templates don’t work to yield meaningful results. This is especially true on New Logo/Greenfield motions where there is no pre-existing trust and value to urge the prospect to ‘open’ and ‘respond’ to the email.
Prospecting is HARD:
I started my career in sales cold calling for a local newspaper during college. I also cold-called alumni at my alma mater to earn money for our school’s scholarship fund…that build some good bones – as rejection and smile and dial with humor became essential.
Those experiences prepped me for my year in the ‘lead gen pit’ – a Hunger Games of sales and hustle demanded 130-150 calls a day – yielding 3-4 meetings booked. It built a toughness for rejection, but lets face it – no matter how much you prospect it feels awkward. It is the awkwardness of sales…like dating you ‘court’ your prospects and hope they will say yes to the meeting – then you build relationship.
It is important to remember, especially when things are feeling like mud and muck – that sales is hard and it is okay. You don’t need to beat yourself up. Often the scripts and emails you used successfully for months/years may similar need to be adjusted because people evolve and adapt. What doesn’t change – the fact that you have an opportunity to help businesses understand pain points and guide them to a solution. Your call could save a business – my previous role selling encrypted email and e-sig during the pandemic literally kept certain companies in business when they couldn’t do taxes/loans face to face.
Focus on WHY: No matter what professional or personal task – you need to act with purpose and that is driven by the ‘why.’
Why are you emailing this person? Your why may be ‘I need meetings and ACV’ – but that why is doesn’t matter to your client. They don’t care about your quota…they care about their business and how to solve pain and find value so their reach their goals. So the why has to be – what is the ‘why’ of my prospect.
I’ve been researching ‘the why’ for common roles (CEO, CFO, Sales Director) and figuring out a baseline of their drivers. I then recommend researching the unique individual on LinkedIn and their website to figure out what their goals are and put yourself in their shoes – do all this before drafting the email.
Winning Tips for Connection:
*Don’t stay stagnant, if something isn’t working then tweak it. Ask your manager and team for advice. Recognize one email might work for one CFO and not another. Try to learn and grow with each message.
While emailing may feel like a metric to reach – don’t simply log emails like a metric – it is an introduction to relationship. When you start thinking of outreach not as another touch – but a true focus on that unique business and person you will find success. People can see through ‘marketing’ blubber – they know their value and you need to show them you do as well.
- Tailor the message to the unique recipient
- Examples:Ask yourself – what is their role? What does their day to day entail? If you were in their shoes what would be your ‘why’ – what problems would be working to actively solve?
- Research their industry and business – what are the major bottlenecks that are driving technology/economic shifts in that space (ex: manufacturing – supply chain issues and sales and service need to be unified)
- Find some common ground…it never hurts to include a bit of rapport if you can. If you notice they are an alum of your university or both share a connection – use that as a genuine show of your human connection
- Focus on WHY: Why are you emailing them as opposed to anyone else. Show how you can solve a relevant problem in a unique way that drives urgency without being pushy.
- You recognize that they are having x issues (Ex: supply chain) and you have a platform to unify the supply chain inventory and speed to delivery. Speak to that unique value, which will drive natural urgency versus the pushy approach of ‘we help you make more money and we need to speak now, etc…’
- Don’t use platitudes – buzzwords are only useful when backed up with How: Give them the Why, but don’t forget a glimpse of How. Example: We help improve supply chain management through data automation and a single view across teams, which provides on average 30% increase on time to value.
- Focus on WHY and HOW you are relevant
- Keep it short, easy to read and actionable
- Write the way you speak (with proper grammar of course) – you don’t want to sound like a marketing email, but instead as a trusted expert and fellow HUMAN BEING who wants to connect.
- Read out loud before sending to make sure it reads well.
- Be appreciative: Show genuine gratitude – not over the top praise, but thoughtful thanks for their time, because you understand their grace in giving you time in response.
- Your solution has more value than their time: You also are confident enough to recognize that their time is valuable – but you also give them nuggets of facts to show you investing time with you is going to yield ROI.
- Offer a coffee or lunch – but only if it makes sense: don’
Other quick tips:
- This is a marathon, not a sprint…on average post COVID it takes 16 touches to get a response from a contact. That seems pestering, but unfortunately we need to use gracious persistence.
- What is gracious persistence – being polite in tapping and asking for time AND providing value adds on each touch (relevant webinar, info about state of business, etc…)
- You are not called to be a ghost hunter – but when you know the value you can bring to a business – at least due the diligence to ensure you did everything you can to provide the insight and ask for the time…why – because you have a purpose in reaching out and can help their business.
- Use LinkedIn – LinkedIn has become saturated with inmails, but it is still a good spot to learn about a client and to connect with them.
What are tips? Let’s start a discussion
About: Adele Lassiter has over fifteen years of Sales Experience from being a ‘creative costume consultant’ for a theatre shop in high school to owning her own talent agency, retail at Big Box before transitioning to tech sales. She developed her FOCUS on HOW method to simplify sales in the moment to guide success across the sales cycle.
She is the author of ‘Solitude Lake’ – a cozy romance written under her pen name – Adele Darcy. Available on Amazon
Add me on LinkedIn – love to connect!