Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How to Attract Your Prospect's Attention via Email...and then Lose It

Email prospecting is growing in popularity, and we think using it in combination with phone prospecting and face-to-face meetings is one of the best ways to grow your business in 2010. The problem is, you can't just send an email with a snappy subject line and forget about the rest of it. Every part of your email prospecting needs to be direct and focused on the customer. Take this story from sales expert Jill Konrath to heart when working on your email prospecting.

The subject line of his email caught my attention right away: "Hi Jill, was hoping we may be able to help each other."

His message continued in that theme. It was gracious, non-pretentious and curiosity-evoking. He pulled me in...

Hi Jill I was hoping we may be able to help each other. We're currently first level contacts on Linkedin and I hope you don't mind my reaching out to you.

I'm interested in exploring mutually beneficial business alliances with you which may allow us to help each other build more business. And, I'd like to offer you 20% of the gross margin of any business you refer to me. Or, if this would be a conflict of interest, I'd be glad to make a donation in your name to your favorite charity.

He then went on to explain the details of how that would work (which was unnecessary since I can do the math) and gave me a short overview of his company.

And then he totally blew it when he said:

Now that was my pitch :) If you have a product or service that I can help you sell, please let me know. I'd be glad to partner with you to help you sell your products or services to our client base if it looks like a good fit.

Excuse me! I thought he was writing me a personal note. When I realized it was a canned email and he hadn't ever bothered looking at my website, I deleted him as fast as I could.

I'm sure he thought he was being nice. I thought he was stupid. Don't make the same mistakes in your email prospecting.

Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies and founder of the Sales Shebang, is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and industry events. For more articles like this, visit www.SellingtoBigCompanies.com. Sign up for the newsletter and get a bonus Sales Call Planning Guide.

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