Traits of Top Salespeople

"Top salespeople are flexible: they know how to adapt their sales presentation if their prospect’s situation changes."

Tag: prospecting

Staying Top of Mind: The Power of Sharing Industry Insights with Customers and Prospects

Staying Top of Mind: The Power of Sharing Industry Insights with Customers and Prospects

Staying top of mind with your customers and prospects is crucial for long-term success in B2B sales. As a salesperson, you understand the importance of improving a company’s revenue generation capability. One often overlooked strategy is the art of sharing industry and management articles with your clients. In this blog post, we’ll explore why successful salespeople who read and share articles can be a game-changer for your sales strategy.

The Value of Industry and Management Articles

Sales professionals are often the front-line ambassadors of a company, representing its products, services, and values. To be effective in this role, they must stay informed about industry trends, management best practices, and emerging market dynamics.

In the ever-evolving landscape of sales, the role of a salesperson has transformed from being a transactional agent to that of a trusted advisor. Today, being well-read is a valuable asset that can elevate a salesperson’s credibility, effectiveness, and success in the field.

Knowledge is synonymous with authority; therefore, salespeople who invest time in reading and staying updated on industry trends, market dynamics, and management best practices are better equipped to provide valuable insights to their clients. This knowledge sets them apart as trusted advisors who understand their clients’ challenges and can offer tailored solutions.

Because reading enhances a salesperson’s knowledge, broadens their horizons, and deepens their empathy, a well-read salesperson is more likely to understand their client’s unique needs and pain points, enabling them to build stronger, more meaningful relationships. This understanding is the foundation of trust.

Sales professionals who regularly consume industry-specific literature, market reports, and business books are constantly expanding their knowledge base. This knowledge encompasses the features of their products or services and a comprehensive understanding of the broader industry context, market trends, and competitors. This knowledge empowers salespeople to speak confidently, answer client questions, and offer well-informed recommendations.

Truly successful salespeople won’t limit reading to industry-specific content, though. You should also include exposure to diverse viewpoints and ideas from various authors and disciplines. This diversity of thought broadens a salesperson’s horizons, allowing them to approach problems and challenges with a more open and creative mindset. They can draw inspiration from various sources, adapt strategies from different industries, and think outside the box when solving client issues. As a result, they become more adaptable and innovative in their approach, which is particularly valuable in today’s dynamic business environment.

Please understand that reading isn’t solely about acquiring knowledge; it’s also about gaining insights into the human experience. Well-written literature, biographies, and psychology books can help salespeople develop a deeper empathy. When they read about the struggles, triumphs, and challenges faced by characters or real-life individuals, they can relate these experiences to their clients’ situations. This enhanced empathy allows them to connect with clients more personally, truly understanding their needs, aspirations, and pain points.

Armed with knowledge and empathy, well-read salespeople are better equipped to offer tailored solutions. They don’t resort to one-size-fits-all approaches but instead craft strategies and recommendations that specifically address each client’s unique needs. This level of personalization demonstrates a genuine commitment to the client’s success. It reinforces the perception that the salesperson is a trusted advisor with the client’s best interests.

Reading also improves a salesperson’s communication skills. Exposure to well-crafted prose and persuasive writing helps them articulate their thoughts more clearly and persuasively. They can convey complex ideas in a simple and compelling manner, making it easier for clients to grasp the value of their recommendations. Effective communication builds rapport, and fosters trust.

Combining knowledge, empathy, and effective communication creates the ideal environment for building deeper, more meaningful client relationships. Well-read salespeople can engage in insightful conversations, actively listen to client concerns, and provide thoughtful solutions. Clients, in turn, feel heard and valued, leading to a stronger emotional connection and a greater likelihood of ongoing collaboration.

The business world is changing constantly, and being well-read ensures that salespeople can adapt to new challenges and opportunities. They can pivot their strategies and recommendations based on the latest insights, demonstrating their agility and commitment to their client’s success.

Well-read salespeople often position themselves as thought leaders within their industry. When clients perceive a salesperson as a source of valuable information and insights, they are more inclined to seek their guidance and trust their recommendations.

Knowledge generates awareness, and this awareness creates authority. Well-read salespeople better understand their capabilities and the solutions they provide. This assurance resonates with customers, making them more likely to trust their suggestions.

Sales is not only about promoting products or services; it’s also about resolving problems. Well-read sales professionals are adept at locating and tackling their clients’ issues in imaginative and effective ways, showing off their problem-solving skills.

I regularly discuss that there are three things that each salesperson sells to every prospect:

  • their product,
  • their company,
  • themselves.

Because most products have an equivalent competitive product and competitive companies are usually quite adequate and rarely convince a prospect to NOT purchase, it is not unusual for a prospect to buy due to their trust towards the salesperson. Being well-read assists the salesperson in building credibility and potentially becomes the difference between winning the order or losing the order.

Reading is a multifaceted tool that enriches a salesperson’s professional and personal growth. It equips them with knowledge, broadens their perspective, and deepens their empathy – all of which are essential for building trust-based relationships with clients. Through a commitment to continuous learning and reading, salespeople can elevate their effectiveness and stand out as trusted advisors in their field.

The role of a salesperson has evolved into that of a trusted advisor who guides clients toward the best solutions for their needs. Being well-read is a powerful tool that helps salespeople embody this role effectively. It enables them to offer valuable insights, build strong relationships, and position themselves as experts in their field. So, whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or just starting your career, remember that the path to becoming a trusted advisor begins with gaining your prospect’s respect.

Tips for Effective Article Sharing

Now that we’ve established the value of sharing industry and management articles, here are some tips to make the most of this strategy:

Engaging with clients goes beyond transactional interactions. Sharing articles initiates meaningful conversations and encourages clients to share their thoughts and insights, further strengthening the relationship.

1. Curate Relevant Content: Ensure that the articles you share are directly related to your clients’ industries or pain points. Tailor the content to their specific interests to make it more meaningful.

2. Add Personalization: When sharing an article, include a personal note explaining why you thought it would be valuable for the recipient. This personal touch shows that you’ve considered their needs and interests.

3. Consistency is Key: Don’t make article sharing a one-off activity. Consistency is vital to maintain top-of-mind awareness. Create a schedule for sharing articles, but avoid overwhelming your clients with excessive emails.

4. Encourage Discussion: Encourage clients and prospects to share their thoughts and opinions on the articles you send. This can spark meaningful conversations and help you understand their challenges and goals better.

5. Measure Engagement: Use analytics tools to track open rates and click-through rates for the articles you send. This data can provide insights into which topics resonate most with your audience.

Long-term relationships are the most invaluable in sales. Well-read sellers have sufficient understanding and proficiency to nurture strong client connections that can result in repeat business and referrals. By sharing key articles and 3rd party information, you will build a longer-term relationship with your prospect.

Staying top of mind with your customers and prospects is a strategic imperative in professional selling. Sharing industry and management articles is a powerful and subtle way to maintain meaningful connections, foster trust, and position yourself as a valuable partner in your clients’ success journeys. Embrace this practice, and watch as your revenue generation capabilities soar to new heights.

Header Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava
Artificial Intelligence Helps Salespeople Be More Effective

Artificial Intelligence Helps Salespeople Be More Effective

Sales professionals have always been under pressure to close more deals and hit their targets. But now, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), they can be even more effective in their roles. AI tools can automate routine tasks, helping salespeople focus on their jobs’ essential aspects. And by providing insights into customer behavior, AI can help sales teams to understand their customers better and close more sales. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your sales performance, consider using AI tools in your workflow. You won’t regret it!

For example, machine learning and natural language processing can offer sales teams unprecedented insight into their buyers and sales processes. It seems that many sales leaders are already aware of this: according to a Salesforce report, leaders expect the adoption of AI to grow faster than any other tech in sales.

AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated and can now be used to help salespeople become more efficient.

Salespeople are under immense pressure to hit their quotas and secure new business deals. To be successful, they need to be efficient in their outreach and be able to identify potential leads quickly. However, with the vast amount of information available, it can be difficult for salespeople to know where to start. This is where artificial intelligence comes in. AI-powered software can help salespeople by sifting through data and identifying patterns that may indicate a purchase is forthcoming.

In addition, AI can also be used to automate repetitive tasks, such as sending emails or scheduling appointments. As a result, AI is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for salespeople looking to boost their efficiency and close more deals.

Salespeople are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and close more sales. With the advent of artificial intelligence, they now have a powerful tool at their disposal. AI can help salespeople identify potential customers, track their interactions, and predict when they will likely make a purchase. As a result, salespeople can focus their efforts on the most promising leads and close deals more quickly.

AI can help salespeople to meet their quotas by providing them with real-time feedback on their performance. As AI becomes more advanced, it will become an increasingly valuable asset for salespeople seeking to boost their productivity.

Using data from previous sales, AI can help salespeople identify potential new customers and prioritize the best prospects. AI can also automate repetitive tasks, such as sending follow-up emails and scheduling appointments. As a result, salespeople can spend less time on administrative work and more time selling.

In addition, AI can provide real-time feedback on Sales performance, helping salespeople to improve their skills over time. With the help of AI, salespeople can become more efficient and close more deals.

AI can help salespeople identify potential leads, understand customer needs, and recommend products accordingly.

Sales is a notoriously difficult profession. Not only do salespeople have to identify potential leads, but they also have to understand customer needs and recommend products accordingly. It’s a lot of pressure, and it can be tough to keep up with the quotas. Fortunately, artificial intelligence can help.

Salespeople can use AI-powered tools to identify potential leads and understand customer needs quickly. AI can also recommend products that are likely to fit the customer well. As a result, AI can help salespeople work more efficiently and close more deals. In other words, AI can be a powerful tool for salespeople looking to improve their performance.

AI can also automate simple tasks such as sending follow-up emails or scheduling appointments, freeing up time for salespeople to focus on more important tasks.

In any sales position, time is of the essence. The more time spent on simple, administrative tasks, the less time available to sell, and eventually, this will impact efficiency and quota. Artificial intelligence can help to automate some of these tasks.

In today’s competitive market, any advantage that can be gained by using AI should be taken. For example, follow-up emails can be generated automatically after a meeting, or appointments can be scheduled with potential clients without requiring manual input. This frees salespeople to focus on more important tasks, such as closing deals, ultimately leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

By automating simple tasks such as sending follow-up emails or scheduling appointments, AI can help salespeople to focus on more critical tasks. As a result, they can work more efficiently and close more deals. In addition, AI can also provide valuable insights into customer behavior, helping salespeople target their efforts more effectively. Ultimately, AI can be a powerful tool for sales organizations looking to improve their efficiency and performance.

Automating these tasks can help salespeople to avoid human error and improve the accuracy of their work. As a result, Salespeople who use artificial intelligence to automate simple tasks can see an increase in their efficiency and effectiveness.

Using AI, businesses can reduce costs associated with hiring additional sales staff or training existing staff members in new technologies.

With the ever-changing landscape of technology, it can be difficult for businesses to keep up. To stay competitive, companies must continuously invest in staff training and development. However, this can be costly in terms of both time and money.

By utilizing Artificial Intelligence, businesses can reduce the costs associated with hiring additional sales staff or training existing staff members in new technologies. Artificial Intelligence can provide employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to sell products or services without further training.

In addition, Artificial Intelligence can help identify potential sales opportunities, leading to increased revenue and profits. As a result, utilizing Artificial Intelligence is a cost-effective way for businesses to stay competitive and improve their bottom line.

Artificial Intelligence is one of the latest technologies that has the potential to revolutionize the hiring process. Businesses can automatically filter resumes, identify top candidates, and conduct initial interviews using AI-powered tools. This saves businesses time and money and allows them to focus on more qualified candidates.

Artificial intelligence can revolutionize the sales process for businesses of all sizes. Using AI, companies can reduce costs associated with hiring additional sales staff or training existing staff members in new technologies. AI can also help businesses to target potential customers more effectively and to identify up-selling and cross-selling opportunities. In addition, AI can automate administrative tasks such as lead generation and customer data management. As a result, businesses that adopt AI will achieve a significant competitive advantage.

It is important to note that AI should not be seen as a replacement for human interaction – instead, it should be used to complement human skills and abilities.

In a world where technology is increasingly becoming a more significant part of our lives, it is essential to remember the importance of human interaction. While artificial intelligence can be used to perform many tasks, it cannot replace the relationships that we build with other people. In fact, networking with other individuals is essential to succeed in many fields.

For example, in the business world, building relationships is key to finding new clients and opportunities. Ultimately, while artificial intelligence has its place, human interaction is still essential in our lives.

It is important to note that artificial intelligence should not be seen as a replacement for human interaction – instead, it should be used to complement human skills and abilities. For example, AI can be used to manage large networks of relationships. However, AI cannot replace the need for humans to build and maintain relationships. AI can even help humans to develop stronger relationships by providing insights and data that would otherwise be unavailable. For example, AI can help identify relationships between people with similar interests or goals. Ultimately, AI should be seen as a tool to augment human abilities rather than replace them.

In the future, we can expect to see even more integration of AI into the world of sales.

In today’s business world, time is of the essence. Every second you can save is another opportunity to make a sale, reach a new customer, or close a deal. This is why many businesses are turning to artificial intelligence to help boost productivity and efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks and providing instant access to data and analytics, AI can help salespeople work smarter, not harder. In the future, we can expect to see even more integration of AI into the world of sales. As AI technology continues to evolve, it will become increasingly adept at handling more complex tasks, freeing salespeople to focus on the human element of their job: building relationships and closing deals.

As artificial intelligence technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more and more businesses integrating AI into their sales operations. AI is already being used to automate many repetitive and time-consuming sales tasks, such as lead generation and customer follow-up. This allows salespeople to focus on more strategic tasks, such as developing customer relationships and closing deals. In addition, AI can be used to create personalized sales experiences for customers, which can lead to higher conversion rates. As AI technology becomes more sophisticated, we can only expect even more significant productivity gains in the world of sales.

The world of sales is constantly changing, and artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly important role. AI can help salespeople to be more efficient and effective and to find and connect with potential customers more efficiently. In the future, we can expect to see even more integration of AI into the world of sales. As AI becomes more sophisticated, it will be able to do more and more tasks that salespeople currently have to do manually. This will lead to increased productivity and efficiency and new opportunities for salespeople to connect with customers.

Below, I have listed a few AI-based services and solutions. This is far from a complete listing of what is on the market, but exploring these tools will give you some ideas of the problems that can be solved using AI to increase productivity.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a game-changer for sales professionals and managers. This advanced AI model, developed by OpenAI, is like having a dedicated research assistant at your fingertips, ready to help with everything from prospect research to crafting compelling sales pitches.

For sales reps, ChatGPT can provide quick answers to product questions, assist in drafting emails or LinkedIn messages, brainstorm solutions to customer objections, or even help role-play sales scenarios to sharpen your skills.

As a sales manager, ChatGPT can assist in training your team, generating sales reports, or analyzing sales data. The AI’s ability to understand and generate human-like text means it can also assist in creating sales playbooks, coaching guidelines, and other valuable sales resources.

ChatGPT is not just a tool but a team member that is always available, doesn’t need coffee breaks, and is constantly learning to serve you better.

Warmer.ai

Warmer.ai is a new cold email personalization tool. It uses AI technology to write custom intros for your cold emails, saving you time and energy from researching independently. Personalizing the first line in your emails will improve your cold email reply rate and help you close more deals. To use Warmer.ai, you first have to choose the goal of your outreach campaign, then enter your prospect’s LinkedIn or Website URL. Warmer will then scan the site and write personalized intros relevant to your prospect.

Appier

Appier is a technology company focused on building AI solutions for enterprises. Appier’s solutions help organizations develop deep insights into their customer base by using AI to analyze customer databases, segment them, and generate predictions on how they’ll react to marketing campaigns. Appier makes AI easy to implement for enterprises and saves them from having to build their own data scientist teams.

Tact.ai

Tact.ai has changed how salespeople work at leading Fortune 500 companies, like GE and Cisco Systems, by delivering the first omnichannel AI-powered digital assistant for sales teams.

By leveraging the generational platform shift from PC browser-based apps to the latest mobile, voice, and conversational AI-powered experiences, the Tact Sales Assistant acts as a salesperson’s single pane of glass over customer data scattered across CRM, LinkedIn, Zendesk, email, calendar, and legacy databases. Tact’s frictionless experience and contextual insights deliver greater sales productivity, higher win rates, and faster sales cycles for companies struggling with CRM adoption.

CrystalKnows

Crystal’s tools and features are built to give sales professionals improved, more well-rounded insights into the people they work with daily. This includes prospects, current clients, people you meet while networking, and even your own team. Crystal enables you to learn more about a person than just their skills and interests, which is key to successful business relationships – nobody wants to be “sold” to. People want to work with others they feel share their interests and values. Sales professionals need those critical communication skills to earn trust and successfully broaden their business and client base.

Clara Labs

Clara is a scheduling service that coordinates when, where, and how you connect with prospects. Clara delivers unprecedented efficiency and accuracy by combining machine intelligence’s precision and an expert team’s judgment. This human-in-the-loop approach ensures scheduling communication is always clear and swift. Clara works by getting scheduling requests from your emails, automatically engaging prospects to check their availability, and quickly booking meetings. It also handles meeting reminders, ensures prospects have dial-in details, and reschedules if someone requests a change.

Sales teams can use Clara to manage scheduling for their entire funnel, from outbound efforts to handling demos and meetings. Because Clara follows up to get an appointment booked, sales teams will find it incredibly useful in reducing drop-offs, booking more pitches, and ultimately closing more deals.

GetYooz

One of the best accounts payable solutions out there, GetYooz, can reduce your invoicing costs by 80%. As it’s Cloud-based and AI-powered, each step of the purchase-to-pay process is automated. Other tools don’t provide a fully automated experience and need to outsource data
processing to other companies.

So here’s what you’d need to do: gather up a solid selection of products, set them in a display box, find a busy area in which you can set up a stall (you may need to pay for this), set up a pos system to help you track sales and sync them with your main inventory system, and start selling.

LeadCrunch

LeadCrunch.ai finds and engages lookalikes to your best customers, making it easy for you to find new prospects like the ones you’ve already closed deals with. Even better, LeadCrunch engages those prospects with the information most likely to get them to start the buyer journey before you call. The result? According to LeadCrunch, leads convert 3 to 10 times better than cold outreach.

Conversica

Conversica provides an AI-based sales assistant that empowers your salespeople to focus on selling and closing deals instead of chasing down leads. The assistant engages prospects in natural, two-way human conversations and persistently reaches out to every single lead as many times and over as long a timespan as is required. It’s a win/win/win: Sales is more efficient, Marketing is more effective, and prospects have a better experience.

INK

Now more than ever, enterprises and SMBs are investing heavily in content marketing because one well-optimized article has the potential to drive web traffic, engagement, and conversion– even long after it’s published. Over four million blog posts are written daily, but 91% of content gets zero traffic from Google. INK is an AI-enabled text editor that helps improve the quality and rankability of web content. As you write, INK’s AI researches your competition, analyzes their content, and provides tailored suggestions to enhance your content, unlike rules-based solutions.

Its clean, distraction-free interface works almost like a game. Since relevancy is one of the most important ranking factors, INK provides a Relevancy Score on a scale from 0% to 100% that changes as you tackle each suggestion for improvement. The INK editor helps streamline content creation with one tool rather than relying on many. Use INK to improve grammar, spelling, readability, ranking potential, craft metadata, and more. Also, the INK WordPress plugin helps simplify publishing.

Jasper

Jasper AI is a copywriting tool that uses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically produce persuasive and enticing copy. This copy can be for your blog posts, landing pages, social media, ads, marketing emails, and much more, allowing you to write 5x more content in a fraction of the time.

Jasper AI was released in January of 2021 by the team over at Jasper.ai led by the CEO, Dave Rogenmoser, and backed by the team that created Proof.

Jasper.ai is one of the best copywriting tools on the market, with over 1000 5-star reviews on several of the most trusted review sites. This is because it produces the highest quality AI content due to being trained by expert marketers and copywriters.

Drift

Drift is probably the best-known tool on this list. It’s a chat platform that has morphed into a full-fledged AI-enabled sales tool. Today, Drift is a sales software that uses artificial intelligence to help sales professionals increase sales productivity and close more deals. It’s an excellent choice for SMBs and even enterprise businesses that want to automate lead capture and the selling process without scaling headcount.

Exceed

Exceed AI is a sales acceleration and productivity software that helps sales teams close more deals faster. The software provides a suite of tools that helps sales reps manage their leads and opportunities, track their progress, and collaborate with their team. Exceed.ai also integrates with many CRM and ERP systems, including Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP, making it easy for sales reps to manage their sales pipeline and data.

Saleswhale

Saleswhale is one of the best AI sales software applications because it helps sales reps focus on the most critical tasks and provides them with the best leads. Saleswhale will recommend you data-backed Playbooks depending on your intended use cases. Playbooks include Recycled MQLs with no sales activity, Post-webinar leads with low intent, and more.

In essence, Saleswhale is an email-based lead nurturing assistant that uses AI. All this means less manual work for your sales reps and more closed deals.

Grammarly

Grammarly helps people communicate with confidence across devices and platforms. Our AI-powered suggestions appear wherever you write, coaching 30 million people and 30,000 teams every day to improve the correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery of their writing. Grammarly Premium elevates communication for individual students and professionals, Grammarly Business drives organizations of all sizes to accelerate business results, and Grammarly for Developers empowers builders to enhance the communication experience for their end users. 

Otter

Otter.ai is a transcription tool that uses artificial intelligence to generate transcriptions for meetings, interviews, lectures, and other essential voice conversations. Otter empowers everyone to engage and be more productive in meetings with real-time automated notes and transcription. Engage more in discussions by using Otter to record and transcribe in-person or virtual conversations in real-time and collaborate by highlighting, inserting comments, or images.

The list continues to grow.

This list of AI tools for salespeople is just the beginning, and it will get longer every year for many more years. Artificial intelligence has already begun to play a role in sales productivity and will only become more widespread and important. As technology advances, so will AI’s ability to help sales teams close more deals in less time. If you’re not using AI to its fullest potential yet, start looking for opportunities where it can make you more productive. With the right tools, your team can focus on what they do best – building relationships and closing deals. How have artificial intelligence tools helped you increase sales productivity?

Prospecting With LinkedIn

Prospecting With LinkedIn

You have to improve and capitalize on your personal relationships with the companies in your territory. You should probably focus on the top five to ten companies that most closely align with your perfect customer. If you do not know someone at one of your top 10 accounts, that is not a reason to skip them. You must build that relationship.

You will create these relationships by leveraging:

  • Your best clients.
  • Your former employers and former co-workers.
  • People that your prospect respects.

The best way to make a connection to your unknown prospects is via the social platform LinkedIn. The site is arguably the most important social platform for business and especially for salespeople. According to HubSpot, 65% of B2B companies report that they have acquired a customer through LinkedIn. 

According to Jim Keenan, the social sales specialist in the “The Impact of Social Media on Sales Quota and Corporate Revenue” report, 78.6% of salespeople using social media to sell outperformed those who weren’t using social media. Also, social media users were 23% more successful at exceeding their quota by at least 10% than their non-social media peers. In 2012 non-social media users missed quota (by more than 10% or more) 15% more often than social media users.

LinkedIn is often identified as the place to go to look for your next job. Certainly, it is used extensively by recruitment consultants the world over to find and approach candidates. But to simply look at it this way is to do the network a significant disservice.

LinkedIn is a great way for you to build your personal brand. As I have explained elsewhere, customers buy from you based on three criteria – your product, your company, and you. LinkedIn is an excellent way to build that third component of your value portfolio.

You should be using LinkedIn as a source of new leads and tangible revenue. In fact, for business to business, LinkedIn is a critical tool that can make your prospecting faster, smoother, and, ultimately, more profitable.

Contacts are the power of LinkedIn.

If your contacts are predominantly family, friends, and old school pals, you’ve got some work to do. Your first-level contacts open up a route to a full range of second and third-level connections. This is how you scale your network. Strike while the iron’s hot – whenever you meet anyone (online or off), always follow up quickly with a connection request while you are still fresh in his or her mind.

You need to use LinkedIn to map out the decision makers within your target prospects. In a complex sale, there are numerous people involved in making and influencing a purchase.

When you meet an individual, you can learn a great deal about that person. Many people are quite open on their LinkedIn profiles. You can frequently discover which team they’re on, which office they work out of, and what projects they’re focusing on. With a little detective work, you can quickly build up a picture of who you should be talking to, what they’re like, and what they’ve done before. Make sure you read the recommendations that they have written and that are written about them, as this gives you an idea of who influences them.

With LinkedIn, you can almost always learn enough about someone to make your call more relevant and useful to them. And it’s not simply a case of digital stalking. 

You should pay particular attention to changes in profile, status updates, connections in common and anything they’ve posted to a group (which can be reason enough to call them in the first place). 

Comment to meet people

One of the easiest ways to become known to a prospect is to like or comment on anything that the prospect has posted. This won’t propel the prospect to reach out to you, but at least you will not be a stranger. After a couple of appropriate comments, the prospect will likely be much more interested in having a conversation with you.

Commenting on your prospect’s activity is also important within the forums or groups. You should join the groups that your top prospects frequent. When you are viewing your prospect within the group, you can follow their activity. Following a prospect allows you to have their updates and conversations in your LinkedIn feed.

If you are not connected to the prospect, then use InMail to make that first introduction. InMail is LinkedIn’s internal email system and allows you to send an email to any LinkedIn user. It ensures your email gets through to their inbox. LinkedIn claims that an InMail is 30 times more likely to get a response than a cold call.

LinkedIn has a fabulous search function. With their advanced search, you can find people by title, company, location, or keyword. By intelligently mixing the different filters, you can get deep and identify key individuals quickly and easily.

You can also save your search criteria and get a weekly report listing anyone new who matches the criteria. For example, you could save a search for Database Administrators in the retail industry within 50 miles of Atlanta. Then, each week, you will get an email with anyone new who matches the search criteria.

Information is king.

This statement is particularly the case when it is account news. With information, you can make appropriate decisions. As any salesperson will know, change creates opportunity. People join, people leave, companies make important announcements – any change can present a good reason to get in touch and offer to help. More than that, information on your prospect allows you to:

  • Respond to the events affecting your customers and prospects.
  • Have background talking material during your sales calls.
  • Find opportunities.
  • Establish financial justification for your opportunities.

There is a lot of information to gather about your accounts. You need a quick and convenient way to review the highlights of your account news so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. 

LinkedIn makes discovering these changes easy. You can follow any company that has a LinkedIn page. That way you’ll see anything that changes directly in your updates. It’s an easy way to stay up to date and spot new opportunities.

Header Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
Send A Newsletter To Your Clients And Prospects

Send A Newsletter To Your Clients And Prospects

A newsletter is the best tool for maintaining a relationship with existing customers and qualified prospects that are uninterested at this time. I suggest that you send out your newsletter at least every quarter, but it would be more effective if you send it every month to your mailing list. I also suggest that you post your newsletter to LinkedIn using their blogging capability.

Of course, sending out a newsletter assumes that you are using a CRM to manage your relationships. If you aren’t using a CRM, you need to start immediately. I have written about CRM strategies in the past if you want a little more background.

Your customers should all receive your newsletter. Your customers need to be constantly cultivated for new business. Also, your customers may change jobs, and you want them to call you immediately. They will only do this if you have been consistently adding value to their working lives. Remember, the only way that you add value to a prospect is by making that prospect smarter. You can help an existing customer a few more ways by offering good customer service, but the most proactive method is to make them smarter.

It is not practical for me to put a template of a newsletter into this blog and have it be useful for every reader but below are some suggested sections:

  • Title/Subject: Make sure your title clearly states that this is a newsletter. Your title will be in your subject line of your email, and it will be at the top of your blog post on LinkedIn. You want your email recipients to know that this is an email to many people.
  • First section: A personal note of about 100-200 words on your industry or the local situation. Don’t be afraid to congratulate the local college for a great sports season. It should be personal and, if your prospects are local, it should be relevant to your geography.
  • Second section: News from your company. This literally could be a copy of a relevant or important press release. If someone in your product marketing group puts out a blog, that can be great content. Just make sure you include a URL link to the original content.
  • Third section: Links with a short description to download some new company content. Perhaps a new whitepaper was published, or a new video on YouTube.
  • Fourth section: This section contains selected paragraphs from a published article. This article should not mention your company but rather be about your industry. You don’t want this article to be a sales pitch, but rather it is included only to make your prospect smarter.
  • Fifth section: Links to upcoming events that you or your company is participating in. If you don’t have any events coming up in the next year, list a few links for events from your partners or maybe industry associations.
  • Sixth section: It may be relevant to have a bit of humor at the bottom of your newsletter. There are several open-source cartoons that you can embed. Of course, you need to be extremely careful that the humor is non-offensive to any demographic group and should be non-political. If you can’t do this well, skip the humor.
  • Seventh section: Give directions on how to unsubscribe and your contact information (including your physical address). This will help to keep you from being black listed by the various agencies that watch for spamming activities. If you use your CRM to create your newsletter or a campaign management tool (see below) then that template or tool should force you to put this into your newsletter.

Somewhere in the newsletter, either in the footer or in your opening section, make sure you invite people to connect to you on LinkedIn.

Building a newsletter is not difficult, but it may be a struggle for you depending on your skills or time constraints. There are a couple of tools that you can use:

  • Use your CRM: In many cases, your CRM will have tools built into the tool that will help you build and manage a newsletter. If it does, it will typically have a series of modifiable templates. This will make your delivery easier. Using that template, customize it to meet your company’s color scheme and then fill in the content on a monthly and quarterly basis.
  • Use a campaign management tool: Tools such as ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp are very easy to use if you are familiar with Microsoft Word. They each offer many templates that are easy to customize and save. They also easily accept a CSV import from your CRM or maybe Zapier has a direct integration between your CRM and the campaign management tool. If you want more options than the three that I listed here, simply search the web for “best newsletter tools” and you will see dozens of articles reviewing the industry. Don’t spend too much time reviewing all of the options though as no one is going to buy from you because you use one tool over another. They are all probably very good and you simply need to get used to the one that you choose.
  • Your email: Newsletters do not need to be highly formatted templates. In reality, you can simply create an email using your email client and then send it out your top prospects and customers. Just be very careful that you are not sending spam so don’t send more frequently than monthly. Also, if you use a simple email you should include a way for the receiver to unsubscribe from your list (and you should respect that request). It is better if you have a form that they can fill out but as a minimum you need to include similar to: “If you do not wish to receive this regular newsletter from me, please reply with UNSUBSCRIBE.”
  • Hire a service: There are many services available that will handle all of this work for you. Simply Google “marketing services” and then add your zip code and Google will give you several choices that are very close to you. If you don’t know someone in your immediate network that does marketing services, fill out my contact form and I will give you a couple of options of people that can help you that will do a great job. I personally do not offer this service but I have friends that do.

Start your newsletter today. Keep a schedule. The goal is to keep your name in front of as many people as possible and to start to establish yourself as a Trusted Adviser.

If you want to read more about creating a newsletter, there are probably thousands of articles giving you suggestions. Here are a few that are quite good:

  1. 7 Tips for Creating More Engaging Newsletters
  2. How to Create an Email Newsletter People Actually Read
  3. How to Write a Newsletter
How to write the ideal cold sales email to generate more meetings

How to write the ideal cold sales email to generate more meetings

The good folks over at Cloudura.ai published this post. It was so good that I wanted my readers to read it as well. With their permission, I am reproducing it here.

With over 4 billion email users worldwide, it is no surprise that cold emailing is at its peak right now. On average, a regular email user receives 147 new emails per day. While this is a positive number for reaching out via this medium, you’re in for a lot of competition if you’re a sales rep trying to stand out in the vast sea of emails. 

Unfortunately, while 8 out of 10 prospects prefer talking to salespeople via email over any other medium, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, with the response rate going even lower. 

So, where are sales executives going wrong, and how can they fix their emails to realize the potential of cold emailing? 

We’ve curated a list of tried-and-tested tricks that will help you create the perfect cold email for a meeting by grabbing your prospect’s attention. 

1. Don’t Ignore the “From” Line 

The ‘from‘ line is usually set up when we configure our email, and that’s it. It hardly ever comes to our mind again to change it in any way. While that might work for everyone else, it’s a huge and unusually common mistake when you’re a salesperson writing a cold sales email. 

On average, an email user deletes 71 messages every day, and all of them under five minutes. This means that most of them are sent to trash even before your prospect opens the email. Apart from the subject line, the ‘from‘ line is the only other thing the user sees when the email is still unopened. As such, it needs to fittingly convey who you are and be consistent with the purpose of your email.

You can change the ‘from‘ line any time, depending on who your current campaign is targeted to and what your message is going to be. There are different combinations of your first name, your last name, your title, and the company’s name that can each affect your prospect differently when used as a ‘from‘ line.

A. First Name + Last Name + Company Name 

While this tells the receiver who exactly the mail is from at first glance itself, it can also seem a little impersonal and might not be enough to convince the individual to open it. 

Rachel Smith – Clodura.AI 

B. First Name + Last Name 

This may be a little too personal, thereby making you lose credibility. If you’re trying to sell the product or service your company offers without having their name attached, your prospect may feel you don’t have the authority to use it and may consider your email spam. 

Rachel Smith 

C. Title + Company Name 

An email with only your job title and the company name in the ‘from‘ line will definitely seem like one of the promotional, automated emails businesses send. Using a specific personal name can increase your open rates by 35%, and yet, a staggering 89% of email marketing campaigns are sent with a company name. These emails do not invoke the recipient to engage with them because they do not feel personal and are likely to be ignored or deleted.  

Account Executive – Clodura.AI

D. First Name + Company Name 

A little personal while still conveying where you’re from – this combination can work with most of your campaigns. 

Rachel from Clodura.AI 

Other Combinations 

  • First Name + Last Name + Title
  • First Name + Title
  • First Name + Title + Company

Do note that these are merely general suggestions on which combinations can be used, depending on the situation. However, in the end, the ‘from’ line you choose should be carefully selected based on your target audience for a particular campaign. Other factors like the context of your message and your end goal also play an essential role in its determination. 

To ensure you choose the correct ‘from‘ line, ask yourself these questions, and use the combination that best fits your answers.

  • Is the combination I’m choosing consistent with the rest of my email? Even though it is often ignored, the “from” line also plays an essential role in swaying your prospect’s opinion. Ensure that your “from” line is consistent with the subject line, the body of the email, the signature, the message, and everything else in your email.
     
  • Would I open this email if I were the prospect? 
    Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes to find out if the “from” line you chose has enough value to compel your prospect to open the email or not.
     
  • Have I carefully scrutinized my prospects to use a combination that they wish to receive? 
    As mentioned above, your “from” line depends on a lot of factors only you are fully aware of. These also include the persona of your prospect and what they expect from you. Ensure that you’re specific in your targeting and do not fall prey to the most popular idea around at the time. Each company and each campaign of that establishment will have a unique set of factors that will affect the message and, consequently, require re-evaluation to determine the ideal ‘from’ line.
     
  • Have I ensured that the “from” line indicates that the person on the other end of the email is someone they want to talk to? 
    Find out who your prospect wants to talk to and include that in your ‘from’ line. For instance, if you believe a campaign to target decision-makers will get better results if they see the Head of the Department (HOD) has contacted them, then create your email campaign and ‘from‘ line around the HOD’s name and title.

2. Create an Eye-Catching Subject Line 

Another element that forms the first impression, the subject line plays a crucial role in driving the prospect to open and read the email. Statistics support this statement — with 35% of recipients opening an email based on the subject line alone and 69% marking an email as spam based solely on the subject line.

While a prospect ignoring your email may make you lose that particular individual, marking it as spam will affect your email deliverability and, consequently, your entire campaign. To that end, it is very important to create subject lines that attract and interest the recipient. Here are some golden tips that can help you stay on track when choosing a subject line. 

A. Put Yourself in Your Prospect’s Shoes 

Ask yourself if your subject line is convincing enough to make the prospect open and read the email or not. Ensure that it responds to their needs and offers a solution to their problem. This way, you will change the subject line from being about your company and your product to their concern and how you can resolve it. 

B. Personalize Your Subject Line to Create a Highly-Targeted Email 

You know their problems, but do you know them? You can make your prospects feel like you see them by forming your subject line in a more personal way. In fact, subject lines with the prospect’s name in them can increase your open rate by over 29% and your click-through rate by over 41%.

For instance, in the image above, the third subject line is an excellent cold sales email example of how to personalize your subject correctly, and the first one is a generic one that you should avoid in your cold email campaigns.

C. Don’t Try to Lure Your Prospect With Click-Bait Strategies 

There are two ways a click-bait subject line can go. Either your prospect will be annoyed by the ‘sales-y’ email and ignore or delete it right away, or they will open the email only to be disappointed because of the misleading subject line and then delete it. So, stay away from trying to bait your prospect with shifty cold email ideas and simply write a subject that offers value instead.

D. Remember That You’re Reaching out to a Human 

Along with personalization, use other tricks so that the recipient knows that you’re human, and you’re treating them as one rather than a paying machine being cajoled by an automated system.  

Did you know that 56% of brands using emojis in their subject lines received a higher open rate than their peers? This implies that playing to the human emotions of your recipient can help you get better results. Moreover, only 2% of businesses use emoticons in their subject lines, ensuring that yours will stand out and be re-callable if you add emojis to it.

Have a look at this fun video by HubSpot to get a better idea of how to use emojis in subject lines.

E. Use Succinct Subject Lines 

Short subject lines with about 41 characters or around seven words tend to garner the most opens. Most subject lines are about ten characters more than this ideal one. You also have to take note of how your prospects are reading your emails. If it is on a mobile device, its interface will likely allow only about 30 characters of the subject line before the rest is cut off.

Source

3. Use the Introduction Smartly 

Okay, so if your prospects have reached the introduction stage through your “from” line and subject line, then you already have a pretty good understanding of them. Now, you have all of 5 seconds to make an impression after they have opened the email. Your opening line is crucial here.  

Instead of directly starting with your and your company’s introduction, write something meaningful for the recipient. Remember, it’s still better to keep it short, but you also want to establish a connection with your prospect that can get them to read the entire mail. You have to use these opening lines to show your prospect that you’ve done your research on them and are deliberately sending this mail to them. You have to make them feel special. 

Here is how you can do that.

A. Talk About Them 

Refer to their work that you’ve come across. It could be a blog, a tweet, a website, anything that has been personally created by them. Show your appreciation for their expertise. 

Here are some examples of how you can start your email. 

  • I loved your blog on….
  • I got your email through [Mutual Contact]…
  • I saw that both of us have [include personal connection]…
  • Congratulations on….
  • I heard that you’re in need of…

B. Talk About Their Company and Their Problem 

Next, ask them questions about the concern that your product is directly related to. For instance, “Do you know why [their company’s name] is not able to hire talent?” 

Remember that while the idea is to create a personal connection with your prospect by using mutual contacts or even flattery, do not overdo it by making this part of the introduction long. Also, stay away from including parts about their personal life lest you seem like a stalker. 

Immediately after these two sentences, add a transitional line and move towards your offer. 

4. Pitch Your Product 

Finally, it’s time to introduce your product or service. As a sales rep, you’ve already done it lots of time. You probably don’t even have to think about the features and the benefits of your product before talking about them anymore.

While that sales pitch might work in a face-to-face or even a phone conversation, emails are a whole different ballpark. Here, the prospect is not obliged to listen to or read your sales pitch. As soon as they realize that the mail is only about you selling your product, it’s a click on the trashcan. 

With cold emails, you have to present your product in such a way that the prospect finds value in it. If your pitch strays away from making the recipient the center of attention, you’ll simply become another salesperson whose business they don’t have to care about. 

You’ve already highlighted their issues in the introduction. Now, you need to seamlessly connect your product to their problems so that they can see the clear trajectory of your product being the solution.

Here is what the body should include.

  • The reason why you reached out to them personally and not anyone else – The idea is to make them feel special and valued.
  • The product that you’re offering. However, instead of including all the features of your product, add the specific benefits that they will enjoy.
  • How a business relationship with you can benefit them.
  • The testimonials or use cases of your previous clients to show how others have benefited through a business relationship with you.

Ensure that you avoid the salesperson tone at all costs and stick to proposing the value of your product to your prospect where they need you rather than the other way around. 

5. Invoke Action With the CTA 

Alright, you’re almost done now. All that is left is to put forward what you want your prospect to do. Do you want them to have a Skype call with you or a phone meeting or a physical meeting somewhere? Whatever it is you want them to do with your cold email ultimately, write it down in a short, simple, and straightforward manner.

6. Tie It All With the Perfect Signature 

Like the “from” line, the signature is also often ignored. As a part of your email, it deserves as much attention as the other elements. After all, it gives your prospect a way to know more about you and get easy access to your contact information. Here are the golden rules of email signatures. 

  • Include your phone number, email address, link to a social media profile of your choice, and link to the company website. You can choose to add or remove other points depending on your target audience and how they generally connect with you.
  • Do not add quotes and images to it. It’s not clean and takes the focus away from your real offering. Images are also easy to get automatically blocked by the email carrier, and it’s best to avoid any delivery issues.
  • If your signature is made up of messy HTML, it can be classified as spam and, again, decrease your deliverability rate.
  • Keep it minimalistic with not more than two font colors, a single font type, and no or only one icon. The more you add to it, the more cluttered it will look.
  • Include enough information to make yourself look trustworthy. If the information is too little, the prospect might think you’re not credible.
  • Aim for consistency among your organization so that you and your colleagues use the same template, font, etc. for your signature.

And send! 

What happens now?

Well, you wait for your prospect to respond. And if they don’t respond, you send them another mail to follow-up. 

7. Why Do You Need Follow-Up Emails? 

On average, about 80% of prospects don’t respond to the first 3 cold emails. Despite this, the average salesperson only makes two email attempts before giving up. In an ideal world, your prospects would understand the need for your product at first go and be ready to invest in it. But the world of cold emailing is no utopia. Professionals are busy and not willing to pay attention to a product they haven’t realized the value of yet. So, be prepared for your mail to be ignored the first time even if it is perfect. 

Source

Follow-up emails work as gentle reminders that there is something like your product in the market and that you’re still available if the prospect wishes to buy it.

Here is how you can write a follow-up email to increase the chances of a response. 

A. Take Care of the Subject Line 

Similar to our first email, the subject line of the follow-up email is essential too. Ensure that it is short, attractive, and shows the value of the email. 

  • Following up on My Email
  • Re: Introduction Call

B. Make the Introduction Contextual 

With the number of emails we receive every day, it is easy for your prospect to forget who you are or what you are talking about. To avoid that, always start by providing them with the context they need. 

  • Thank you for the meeting yesterday….
  • It was nice meeting you at the conference last Saturday
  • I’m following-up on the email I sent a few days ago….

C. Be Clear About What You Want 

Now that you’ve established where they know you from, you need to come to what the purpose of the current email is. What exactly do you want from them?

  • Are you available for a call next Wednesday / Thursday at 3 or 4 PM?
  • Can we schedule a meeting this week on Tuesday at 3 or 4 PM?
  • I would like to invite you to [the event] we’re hosting…

D. Hit Send! 

Different kinds of follow-up emails have different time-frames that they can be sent in. Of course, you’re the best judge of when you want to send which sort of email to your prospect. However, if you’re specifically looking for when to send a follow-up on a meeting request, it is best to do so within 1-2 months after the first email is sent.  

To know more about how you can carry an effective email campaign, check this blog out.

How Can You Take Your Cold Email Campaign a Notch Higher? 

Okay, so you have everything in order now. With a carefully crafted “from” line, subject line, introduction, body, CTA, and the signature, you can now kickstart your email campaign to generate more meetings. You can also follow-up with more emails to get the result you desire by taking care of their subject line, context, and purpose.  

While you have the information to rope in any prospect now, manually doing so with every lead may prove to be inefficient. To increase your sales velocity Clodura’s killer email sequence features helps to generate more interactions and book more meetings, with the right message at the right time for sales prospecting. 

Header Photo by ribkhan (Pixabay)
The Ten Things Sales Manager Need To Understand About Sales Performance

The Ten Things Sales Manager Need To Understand About Sales Performance

Knowledge is power! Having access to the best available information is a vital aspect of almost any operation, but especially important in the competitive sales environment. The following are key statistics every smart sales manager should know…

Header Photo by typographyimages (Pixabay)

17 Tips On Cold Emails – Don’t Make These Mistakes!

17 Tips On Cold Emails – Don’t Make These Mistakes!

It used to be fashionable to make phone calls to unsuspecting people at companies to try and create interest in your product. With the advent of caller ID, voicemail, and smartphones, the practice of cold phone calls has seen a severe drop in productivity. It is still possible to find a lead this way, but due to the low hit rate, it is better to delegate this activity to junior employees that are not carrying a multi-million dollar quota.

In my book “Eliminate Your Competition” I suggest that salespeople send a series of emails to potential prospects in a targeted campaign before trying to make a phone call. I call this the 6-3-1 Program. It won’t guarantee you success, but it has proven to be far more effective than just blindly dialing for dollars.

I understand that your manager may disagree with this campaign. Most managers earned their stripes “back in the good old days” when people answered their phones. Some managers are as old as me and remember actually walking into the front door of a business, asking for a person with a particular title, and being reasonably confident that the person would come out and talk to you for a few minutes.

Let’s be perfectly honest; the world has changed. In those olden days:

  • Telephones had numbers that went in a circle.
  • Telephones were physically attached to a wall by a wire.
  • You had to pay extra to make a “long distance” phone call.
  • Correspondence was written on ground-up trees.
  • Front seats of cars may or may not have had seat belts.

If you are still prospecting with the same techniques as when any of the above was true, then you need to re-think your strategy. It is the 21st century and Ford, Carter, and Reagan are no longer President.

The most effective way to prospect is to include some email correspondence. Unfortunately, email has its challenges. First, an email address is very similar to a phone number – it is wrong then you won’t reach your intended recipient. In the past, I have spoken about Hunter, and it is a great way to start to find email addresses that actually connect to people.

The next challenge with email is that your prospect probably gets A LOT OF EMAILS. You need to make it past the spam filter of the company, the prospect’s spam filter, and the prospect’s “this is junk” rapid deletion techniques. Hopefully, the rest of this article will make that easier.

The number one rule is to send email to your prospects like you were sending email to your old college buddy or your mom. The more fancy and highly formatted your email is, the more likely it looks like spam and less like honest correspondence with your friends.

To determine if a message is spam, most spam filters check for appropriate email authentication and your sending IP reputation. To avoid having your emails considered spam, use email authentication and protect your sending reputation.

Email Authentication

If you use a service for sending your emails, make sure it has good and appropriate safeguards. Email authentication helps ISPs determine whether an email is coming from a legitimate source. Setting up your email authentication is crucial for good deliverability. The two most common authentication standards are SPF and DKIM. Every major ISP and most major spam filter providers check for one or both of these standards when determining what to do with an email.

Sending IP Reputation
Your sending IP reputation is based on many factors, including:

  • Bounce rates
  • Blacklistings
  • Spam complaints

Be careful sending from Salesforce.com.  I have heard that spam filters can easily be configured to block Salesforce.com. I say this because of the domain name of the sending servers, i.e., salesforce.com, and the domain of your ‘from’ will not be the same, in both cases. If a client has strict email rules which verify the sending services with the From address, it may mark it as higher on the spam list.

The 17 “Don’t” list

  1. Don’t use embedded URLs. Embedded URLs are a red flag.  Friends send URLs that look like www.confident-investor.com/watchlist, and they don’t send URLs that look like Watch List where the text is HTML, and the link is part of the text.
  2. Don’t use email tracking. Do you really need tracking turned on? How is that going to make you more money or build your credibility with your prospect?  Emails from friends do not have tracking, so if you turn on tracking the spam filter robots will detect this and your spam scale will increase.
  3. Don’t use all caps anywhere in your email or its subject line.
  4. Don’t use video, Flash, or javascript within your email. Friends don’t do this; they only do URLs.
  5. Don’t embed forms in your emails. Friends don’t do this. Include a URL to your site instead.
  6. Don’t use spam trigger words like “free,” “guarantee,” and “no obligation” in your subject line or email body. A good rule of thumb is, if it sounds like something a used car salesperson would say, it’s probably a spam trigger word. Here is an excellent listing of words to avoid.
  7. Don’t use a red font when drafting your email (in fact, don’t use any special color).
  8. Don’t use a light-colored font on top of a dark background. Remember, your best friend from college wouldn’t do that to coordinate lunch next week so neither should you.
  9. Don’t use excessive exclamation points!!!!!
  10. Don’t forget to use spell check. Misspellings are yet another spam indicator in your email copy. Someday the spammers from other countries will understand how to spell and the grammatical techniques of the US, but until that time make sure your content is correct as it is a great differentiator.
  11. Don’t play games with subject lines. Subject lines that spark curiosity get emails opened, but that’s just half the story. Subject lines that misrepresent emails irritate prospects and drive them to flag you as spam. For example, some sales reps add “Re:” or “FW:” to guise their cold emails as conversations and pique their prospect’s interest. In reality, this is misleading. Moreover, why would a prospect trust you if your first touch with them is deceptive?
  12. Don’t use “hash-busting” to get past the spam filters. Hash-busting is using special characters designed to break up words or phrases (e.g. “Fr3e W!nn@r”). It might work, but it probably encourages your prospect to immediately hit Delete (or worse, manually flag it as spam).
  13. Don’t use URL shorteners. Remember your mother doesn’t use a URL shortener. Only marketers, salespeople, and spammers use shorteners in an email. Aside from being too “salesy”, it is too easy to embed an inappropriate site into a URL shortener, so many people will not click on a shortened URL. It really isn’t worth the trouble – who cares if a URL is long.
  14. Don’t use sloppy HTML code. Using Microsoft Word to design in HTML can add extra formatting to the code, which raises your spam score (and also makes your emails look terrible). If you do create in Word, you should copy/paste as text.
  15. Don’t use too many images and not enough text. Don’t embed text inside of images, or send emails that are all-image, no text. Once again, would your best friend do this when asking you to the game next week weekend? In fact, don’t put images into your email.  I know your marketing department wants you to put a logo into your email or maybe an ad for your next user group. Resist this urge and tell your marketing department to read this article. Your job is to have your email read by your prospect and it won’t get read if it is in their Junk folder.
  16. Don’t use the dollar symbol in the subject line and rarely in the text. Avoid the dollar symbol like the plague, as well as the exclamation point if you can help it. These are huge red flags for spam filters.
  17. Don’t flood your prospect’s server. Corporate server-based spam filters might mark your email as spam if multiple emails to the same company with the same subject line delivered seconds apart. I suggest you modify each subject line slightly if you are doing cold emails.

Cold emails can increase your chances of finding a qualified prospect. However, like all other tools, you need to know how to be effective at using email. My 6-3-1 program in my book “Eliminate Your Competition” is an excellent way to find more people that you can help. It combines email marketing, with phone calls and with educational newsletters. You may purchase my book “Eliminate Your Competition” from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

 

Photo by Infrogmation