Every day my inbox fills up with emails from people I don’t know. They all want my attention and I get the impression that my email address sits on some gigantic database that churns out a constant stream of badly written sales messages.
Interestingly they all have the same theme, which is mainly…let me tell you how wonderful we are and will you agree to a meeting? It’s all about them, their product, company and WE do this and WE do that. Too much weeing for me.
Often I compare selling to dating. Yes I know it sounds a bit weird, but these emails are the equivalent of being propositioned by a stranger in a 90’s nightclub …”fancy coming back to my place?” (remember those days?)
It bemuses me why someone would think I’d give up my precious time to meet a person who has made no attempt to understand me and my business. I don’t know if this is the same for you, but it makes me curious if this approach actually does work. Why do people keep sending this stuff out?
Even the subject lines are getting cheeky. Last week I got an email with the subject “New Enquiry”. Yes, I was excited and hopeful as I clicked to open, but quickly deflated when I realised that Stephen only wanted to tell me about his new widget and how I should book a meeting with him so he could tell me all about it.
So, what’s the alternative. Well, you may want to consider this approach..
PRIORITISE who is the right who for you?
Get very clear about the business you want and the prospect who can deliver it. What sector, company type, size, location, culture, etc. can deliver for you. What lead sources work really well for you?
UNDERSTAND what’s important to them and why?
Do you know your prospects pain? What is it that typically matters to a certain prospect type? Without this insight you can’t start a dialogue that will engage them.
RESEARCH them, their team and the business?
Spend a little bit of time on Google looking not just at them, but at their colleagues as well. After all its rarely that one person makes the decision nowadays.
DEFROST with the right message and media
If they’re new business then they need defrosting, but how do you get their interest and keep their attention. Connect with your prospects problems and challenges. Avoidleading with information about your business and see if that works better than WE do this and WE do that. As I write this I’ve just finished delivering a Generate New Business workshop for a client.
This is where participants learn how to approach cold leads using a combination of engaging messages with the right media. What’s been insightful is the number of people who say something like, I’ve never done it this way before, normally I just write asking for a meeting.
I don’t know if you send out emails like the ones I described above, but you may want to take a little look at what your team is sending out to initiate new business.