Sales Lead Email Template | Integrated

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Today we consume the equivalent of 174 newspapers per day, more than four times the average of the late 1980s, and receive between three thousand and ten thousand messages per day. So think for a moment about the world you step into when sending an email. How many other competing messages will be sent that day, hour, minute? Where will the recipients receive this email: on their mobile device or computer? Will he be one of 150 unread as the decision maker comes out of an all-day meeting, or will he be banned in the dark as he slowly dies in the junk folder? To elicit a response, your other-centered stance needs to be wrapped in a pretty package.

Send emails to prospects? Answer these three questions.

  • Who are you?
  • Can you solve my problem?
  • What does it take to move forward?

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The body of the email

To decompress the body of the email, let’s start with an example email sent by a representative selling voice and data services to an engineering company with remote employees. (I know, exciting.)

Topic: Referred by Susan Johnson

Jeanne,

I am contacting your twenty-six engineers spread across the South East. I’m currently working with Abbott Engineering Services and Susan suspects you might have the same challenges other engineering companies face when trying to support their consultants remotely:

  • Waste of time accessing large files over a remote network
  • On the customer site, missed calls from your most strategic customers
  • Problems with multiple numbers, poor voice quality, and lost productivity when staff are disconnected from the main office in Atlanta

We have just expanded our network and may be able to offer our voice and data services comparable (or perhaps less) to what you are paying now. This could ensure that your remote employees have the same support (and the same quality of voice and data) as if they were at your headquarters in Atlanta.

If this is a priority, let’s schedule a quick fifteen-minute conversation to see if it makes sense for one of our engineers to offer a free evaluation of your current voice and data service.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more, I’ve included a case study that highlights the top five issues we solve for virtual engineering companies (the most surprising is the total number of downtime ) and how they affect productivity and the bottom line.

Let’s deconstruct this email and explore the four sections of an effective email: Connection, Other-Centered Position, Offer, and Proof. Each is designed to answer the customer’s three questions that determine their willingness to engage: Who are you? Can you solve my problem? What does it take to move forward?

4 sections of an effective sales prospect email

  • The connection
  • The other-centered position (OCP)
  • The offer
  • The proof

The connection: who are you?

Think about the number one engine behind which you accept an invitation: who invites you. We cannot ignore this truth when prospecting. You probably don’t know the person you’re trying to hire. You probably don’t have a name or title that opens the door. But the fact remains, the more a prospect sees a connection, the higher the likelihood that the email will be read. Therefore, we need to start by providing the context for the relationship.

Statistically, emails from people we know are read more than emails from strangers. An article published by Fast business details the findings of a thousand emails sent to the most difficult audience: executives. What generated the highest response rate? Familiarity. The sender knew something about the recipient, or they leveraged an existing relationship. Another important revelation was that the less generic the message, the higher the response rate. This is why the first sentence of this email works so well.

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If you know the company has “twenty-six engineers spread across the southeast,” there must be some connection with Jane. This is the perfect way to make a connection – get familiarity by focusing on them. Remember, the more precise the details, the higher the click-through rate. Additionally, listing at Susan and Abbott Engineering (offices in the same office complex) changes the seller from an outsider to a “friend of a friend” status. By adding just a few words, you’ve created an instant connection and an interest in knowing more.

If you hadn’t spoken to Susan and weren’t willing to spend the time calling an insider to capture information, all you’d learn from LinkedIn, Google, or their webpage is that ‘ they have engineers located in the southeast. Look for something specific that you can refer to (eg a hire in Greenville, a layoff, a new client acquisition, etc.). If you show them a “picture” of themselves, they’ll always look at it. Always.

The Other-Centered Position: CAN YOU SOLVE MY PROBLEM?

Once the connection is established, it’s time to deliver your position centered on the other. Attract them to your solution by focusing on their whiteboard or point of view, not your solution, a barrier preventing the heroes of the story from getting what they want. The customer perspective will contain three categories of information:

  1. What they want, their desired destination
  2. Their take on how to get what they want
  3. The challenges they face in implementing the plan

Your OCP can start with one of three, but the one that usually has the most impact is number three. This is where they feel the pain, where the confusion exists, and where they need it most. Remember to start with the fire before offering the smoke detector.

This is where we demonstrate that we know what they are struggling with.

  • Waste of time accessing large files over a remote network

  • On the customer site, missed calls from your most strategic customers

  • Problems with multiple numbers, poor voice quality, and lost productivity when staff are disconnected from the main office in Atlanta

The purpose of reaching out is all about Jane, not the seller’s solution. It describes a perceived need and, because it doesn’t lead to a typical sales or marketing pitch, it’s unpredictable. Why bullets? With the volume of information processed daily, people scan before they read. To draw their attention to what you want them to see, visually present key sound clips in short sentences and bullet points. You can spend an hour writing your email perfectly, but they’ll delete it in a second if you bury the right stuff.

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The offer: what does it take to move forward?

Once you have successfully answered the first two questions, it is time to answer the next question: “What does it take to move forward?” The answer to this question is always: as little as possible for the customer, while providing the most value.

Cover: HarperCollins Leadership

If this is a priority, let’s schedule a quick fifteen-minute conversation to see if it makes sense for one of our engineers to offer a free evaluation of your current voice and data service.

The seller drops the rope by simply using the word “If”. All guesses are arrogant, and at this point assuming you know what to do seems arrogant. This is not the message you want to send to a stranger who ultimately needs to trust you enough to give you money.

By communicating, you are unaware of their priority list and you focus on determining what is best for them, it makes you and your email stand out. It is a step towards eliminating the tension that still exists in the seller-buyer relationship.

In addition, the offer to only meet for fifteen minutes and the introduction of the possibility of a free evaluation by an engineer reduces the risk of engagement and offers an immediate and free benefit to the buyer.

Think of no baby. Again, effective offers remove as many barriers as possible while simultaneously delivering the most value to customers. How the email is worded will determine whether they perceive the offer to be of value.

Looking for more Killer Selling Tips?Discover Tom’s Book!

The proof

Most prospects will need more information before accepting your offer. End the email by offering additional proof to validate your solution. Attach or provide a link that will provide more compelling information on how you solved this problem for others. Just make sure the information is helpful in overcoming the hurdles outlined in the email and shows how you can help them reach the desired destination as opposed to an infomercial about your business or solution.

Articles, white papers, and case studies are common, but don’t limit your proof to typical deliverables. Try to find creative alternatives: use Soapbox to create a personalized video, share a YouTube video, send them a book. Remember that unpredictability determines the impact. The more you deviate from the norm, the more you stand out.

Our marketing team recently tested this approach by sending a generic email to three hundred recipients. Other than the name, there was no attempt to personalize the email. The open rate was 213% above the industry average and the click-through rate exceeded the norm of 426%. Imagine your success rate if you take a few extra minutes to personalize the email.

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From a Receipt by Tom Stanfill. Copyright © 2021 by Tom Stanfill. Used with permission from HarperCollins Leadership. www.harpercollinsleadership.com.


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