It’s hard to get prospects on the phone. We typically get voicemail, and if we get them on the phone, they don’t have time to talk.
Email can help you introduce yourself to hard-to-reach prospects, get your foot in the door, and keep the conversation going. Unlike a phone call, email can be read at the recipients’ convenience, allows the recipient to easily forward information to other stakeholders, and serves as a written record of communication. The emails you send should always be specific, be personalized, and be brief. Here are some other things to keep in mind as you craft business emails:
Watch Your Words
Many of the hard-hitting sales words you’d use on the phone can get your email sent to the spam folder. Email spam filters are looking for words in your subject line and message body that sound “spammy.” Do some research into what words trigger spam flags.
Notify and Summarize
Before a scheduled call or meeting, send out an agenda to detail what will be discussed or provide documentation the subject may need going into the meeting. After the encounter, send out an email to thank them for their time, summarize what was discussed, and answer any lingering questions.
Open-ended questions, “What kind of challenges are you facing?,” provoke thought as opposed to a close-ended question, “Can you use this product?” that yields an easy yes or no answer. Using open-ended questions help you gather information, focus on the customer’s needs, and build rapport.
Tone Your Tone
Written words don’t carry the same emotion as spoken words. A joke told over lunch may not carry the same jovial tone in an email. Emoticons can be perceived as unprofessional and make you look amateurish in a business email. Save your personality for the phone and face-to-face interactions, but maintain a professional tone in your email communication.
Send from Work
If you’re using consumer-level email, you should acquire an @yourdomain email address. Avoid using your personal email address. Your prospect may not recognize it as coming from your business and disregard your message. Always use your direct business email address when communicating. Using your direct email address, email@example.com, makes your email more personal than an email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detail Next Steps
If they need to sign off on documentation or perform other steps to seal the deal, give them specific instructions on what to do. Confirm upcoming meetings or followup activities. Where no action is required, offer something to continue engagement, like a whitepaper or an educational webinar related to their specific need.
After you send messages, look out for auto-responders that can provide you with alternate contact information or alert you that the prospect is away from the office. Employ tools in your inbox, like flags and folders, to prioritize or highlight responses from clients.
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