It can be a 21st century sales consultant’s best friend and worst nightmare all at once.
You may write an email without regard to how the recipient will interpret the message and send it without thinking twice.
Or you can self-criticize repeatedly, edit and edit looking for the perfect way to phrase something, and send it way too late – or even worse, never at all.
In sales, email etiquette with your prospects becomes even tougher.
If you send an email too soon you can come across as pushy.
Send it too late and your competition has picked up the win.
Without the intonation in your voice that you have through a telephone call or the body language expressed in person, email can do you a disservice or even remain unopened by your prospect – never to be read.
Now I know there are millions of articles pushing email marketing and I do believe when the circumstances are right mass email can work.
But in the type of B2B sales I am talking about, a personal email is always the best route.
You can write from individual to individual – with your focus clearly on their needs.
So today I present 9 game-changing email tips for sales reps. to engage with clients:
1) Get To The Point
There is a reason this one is first.
If you don’t get to the point quick enough you may lose your audience.
And when I say get to the point quick, start with your subject line.
Be clear about the potential business-to-business connection immediately.
“Potential Software Solution”
Nothing is worse than a blank subject line.
If this is a first time introduction then start the first sentence after your salutation with your name and the reason for your email.
As an aside, never cold email unless your prospect has opted-in by asking you to email.
Always cold or warm call first.
Ideally you will have built up your network of referrals so you have a constant flow of word-of-mouth prospects.
But that is a post all in itself.
So back to the point.
If you are selling something express that by introducing the benefits associated to your product.
There is nothing worse than scrolling and scrolling only to learn after the fact that you have to pay for something.
At the same time, it is necessary to build up the reason behind the email before introducing the price.
I would get around this by positioning it from the perspective that benefits your prospect.
Ask yourself how you would like to be talked to if someone were to send you an email trying to sell you something.
And keep that feeling in your mind.
Try telling your prospect you visited their website and want to better understand their business.
You can then introduce the reward for using your services and work backwards.
Don’t drone on and get to the point!
2) Re: Regarding Subject Lines
Many people believe that re: in subject lines indicate a reply.
But in reality the re: stands for regarding.
Either way, harness the power of this misunderstanding when formulating a first time email (follow-up to a phone call).
If you use re: in your initial email to a prospect, they will assume you already have engaged in correspondence with them and open it up.
It works wonders – give it a try!
3) Stick To One Topic
Introduce a single main item as the subject of your email.
The worst situation would be to work hard (but not smart) to formulate an email that is all over the place.
By sticking to your main point instead of introducing a variety of products or services you will have the prospect focused on your solution instead of the strengths and weaknesses of many incoherent ideas.
When discussing this one topic make sure you use many benefit statements to really drive home the legitimacy and credibility of your solution.
4) Personalize It
Ideally you will have met the prospect prior to contacting them via email – cold calling is always preferred over cold emailing.
In my opinion, cold emailing is a waste of time.
Whether it is through social media, in person, or from the telephone, make sure to allude to this previous connection.
It will give you a slight edge over your competitors who are also vying for your prospect’s attention.
You want to write your email in a way that will entice your prospect to want to know more about your offer without knowing too much.
If your prospect knows too much about your offer right off the bat they will have lots of ammunition to push you out as a legitimate solution to their needs.
Cause if you oversell in your email, your prospect will believe your offer is too good to be true.
But if you strike them with one bold and assertive benefit statement that touches on a variety of competitive advantages while avoiding opening too many doors for them to close immediately, you stand a greater chance of having them open up to your offer.
6) Follow Up With A Call
To me this is the most important part of this post.
In your email, set the expectation that you will be in touch today or tomorrow or whenever it is – try to be firm about a time.
If you do this and they answer immediately, you know they are open to hearing from you further.
If they don’t answer the email or the call, leave a voicemail and let them know you will call back at another time.
Don’t leave the ball in their court.
If you wait for their people to call your people, your people are going to be quickly without a job.
7) Use Exclamations!
I will admit it, I am not really sure why, but in my experience the most successful sales consultants use exclamations in their emails.
From what I gather, by using exclamations in email correspondence they effectively build hype around the transaction.
In a bad situation, it can spin the negative into a positive by showing that you, the sales consultant, are on top of the issue.
If you are not accustomed to using exclamations while interacting with clients it will feel a little uncomfortable at first.
But once you get the ball rolling you will be able to drop exclamation marks all the time! Like here! And here!
Use exclamations sparingly though, you do not want to lighten a situation the client doesn’t necessarily find humorous nor do you want to offend their better judgment.
8) Ask Questions
Ask your prospect questions – lots of questions.
Whether they are direct, open or closed-ended, or rhetorical get the blood in their brains racing around.
Get them to start thinking about all of the possible opportunities that exist by engaging with you, your products and services.
Questions show interest in your prospect and their business – and every business owner loves talking about their business.
Make sure your questions are relevant, pointed, and elaborate; also that they are beyond the norm of everyday conversation.
9) End With an Invitation
So you have introduced yourself, added a personal touch, detailed the benefits of your product, and set the expectation that you will be in touch.
Ask your prospect to ask any questions they have and make sure they know that you are not only willing, but excited, to answer their inquiries.
This is the best way to gauge their interest.
If they respond quickly, they are hot for your solution.
If they respond a few days later, they may be brewing for a conversation over a cup of tea.
I have had a prospect email me back months after I sent an original “follow up to a cold call” email asking me to call back because they were in budget season and she had flagged my email for later viewing.
If you invite your prospects to ask a question they most likely won’t, but if you keep it open they will at least feel comfortable knowing you are there ready for them at their convenience.
In this post it is assumed that you already possess good grammar and spelling, and that you are using short sentences to make sure you don’t lose their attention.
Certainly we each have a different style when it comes to email correspondence.
So what email tips do you have to share that work well for you?
And what questions do you have about the 9 email tips above?
Comment below or send me an email with your tips!