You’re in for a treat. I periodically dissect real-life prospecting messages sent by real sales reps. Today is one of those days!
Those who know me, know I keep a file of bad prospecting emails. It’s one of my nerdy hobbies. In fact, I could probably create my own Smithsonian exhibit of poorly executed sales emails.
Over the years, I have shared some hideous prospecting messages in this column. What qualifies a message hideous?
- Talking about features and benefits.
- Sales reps focusing on what’s valuable to them rather than what’s valuable to the prospect.
- Wasting prospects’ time.
Today, we look at a prospecting email one of my friends received. She’s the co-owner of an insurance brokerage firm. She knew I’d appreciate it, so she forwarded it to me. I do give the sales rep who wrote it credit for one thing; at least her email was creative:
Hi (Prospect Name),
Happy Wednesday! How about I sing my pitch for you?
It goes like this:
Customer service is key to success,
We do it for you with fast responses and quick access,
Providing High FCR and performance beyond SLAs,
We resolve every customer query without delays,
We spent a fortune on tech, alone,
To provide more than just a response over phone,
With offshore and nearshore contact centers,
We are the pros, not just some call attenders,
Every query answered on-time, and none lost,
We boost customer operations with 45-55% cut in operations cost,
Your data is safe with us, we’re HIPAA compliant,
Our QA team is always with you, so no practice done is ever defiant,
We’re already adding value to 350+ businesses,
When it comes to quality, Forbes and Microsoft are our witnesses,
I propose we create some wins for each other,
To schedule a call, to better know one another,
Have a great day,
(Name of Sales Rep)
Now that you’ve read the transcript, I have a question for you. Be honest. Would you call that sales rep (the budding song writer)? Would you agree to a meeting “to better know one another?”
My friend chose not to respond, because the sales rep gave her no completing reason to do so. Just because the rep was creative (or asked someone in her marketing department to be creative), doesn’t mean the prospect is going to take precious time out of her busy day to talk to someone who provided no personalized, customized value.
Okay, let’s break it down – What’s wrong with this prospecting email?
1. “Salesy” Language
The wording sounds like something a stereotypical “salesman” would write – lots of cheesy buzzwords and “salesy” language.
2. Selfish Selling
The sales rep talks about HER company and what HER offering does. Instead, she should talk about what matters to the prospect. Perhaps the sales rep could have started with something like this:
“Insurance brokers like you are missing out on prospective clients and exposing themselves to needless risk because of faulty technology solutions…”
“Too many insurance brokerages are depending on out-of-date, one-size-fits-all technology platforms. This leads to data security concerns, too much time wasted on help-desk calls and ultimately, lower production…”
See the difference? Talk about what you believe matters to the prospect and not yourself or your offering. Nobody cares about the features and benefits of some company they have never heard of. They only care about themselves, their problems and their hopes/dreams/goals. See the world through your prospects’ eyes and then speak/write accordingly.
3. Who’s the Trusted Advisor?
When a sales rep talks about what she does and how great her product is, she’s merely a peddler – and a pest. When a sales rep focuses on what a prospect truly matters, she can become a trusted advisor. That’s what you want to be in today’s commoditized world. There are probably a lot of people who sell what you sell. There are probably a lot of companies that do what your company does. You separate yourself by becoming a trusted advisor who truly helps people be successful.
In order to become a trusted advisor to someone new, you have to convince them to spend time with you. That’s accomplished by catching their attention with a message that is bigger and more important than boasting about your features, benefits and qualifications.
If you want to improve your prospecting emails and phone calls, we can do a prospecting message workshop for your office. These programs have helped countless companies land meetings with a higher percentage of new, cold prospects. To discuss, call me at 402-510-7468 or simply reply to this email.