First things first, outbound phone call prospecting can be tough. Really tough. Further, it can be very difficult to get a hold of someone. Research suggests that it can take between 7 – 9 outbound calls before you finally get a hold of someone. That can be a lot of dials. If the prospect works for a Fortune 1000 company, it takes upwards of 12-15 dials to get a hold of someone. That is a lot of effort. So what can be done to improve our chances of getting an appointment without so many dials? Email prospecting. WIth the right strategy, email prospecting works. Our Business Development Reps (BDR) average between 2-3 appointments per week purely off of email prospecting. Here are some tips to maximize your email prospecting and get those appointments rolling in:
Tip 1: Smartphone Ready
Your emails should all follow the same format: they need to be smartphone ready. In other words, they need to be readable in completion on a smartphone device. We are a mobile society. We are continuing to do more and more business on our smartphones and tablets. If you want to generate a response, send an email that can be read, in entirety, on a smartphone. Don’t force them to scroll down. Don’t use fancy bullet points. Keep it simple and straightforward. Your simple email will increase response rates from 4-6%.
Tip 2: Find the Right Person
40% of a BDRs time is spent finding the right person at the company to contact. That is a lot of time, roughly 60 hours a month is spent finding the right decision makers to contact. So your first tip in email prospecting is to help you find the right person to contact. Send a non-intrusive, simple, smartphone ready, email asking who is the right person to speak with. For example, it might read:
SUBJECT: With whom should I speak?
Hi (First Name),
I’m trying to find the person responsible for sales. I’m not sure who that is. Can you let me know who it is and the best way to contact them?
We find a consistent 9-11% response rate on this email. These statistics hold true for every client, every month, every year. We find people are more likley to respond because this is a non-intrusive simple email asking for simple help. People are willing to help when they don’t feel like they are being sold.
Tip 3: Use Referrals
When you get a name back from your first email, use that as a referral. Now, get right to the point. Ask for the appointment, before you provide your value proposition. Send a simple email saying:
Hi (First Name)
(Name of Referral) referred me to you. I’m trying to check your calendar availability next week to see when you have 10-15 minutes for a quick call with my COO, Don Markland. Next week, I have Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday is wide open. Which day works better for you?
Now you haven’t even talked about your company, so why would they want an appointment? Of your responses, 75% will be something like “Sure. I’m open. Can you first tell me what your COO wants to talk about?” This is exaclt what you want them to ask.
Tip 4: Close the Appointment
Congratulations! If you get to this point, you now have an engaged prospect! This is your opportunity to send them over a simple, smartphone ready, value proposition. Make sure to include that you want to learn more about their operations and discuss their business needs (people always prefer to talk about their business). Your email might say:
SUBJECT: RE: Appointment
Thanks for your response. My COO wants to discuss your operations and business needs as well as recent trends in sales development and lead generation. We are with Launch Leads, a world leader in lead generation and appointment setting services. The call would be a short 10-15 minutes. Next week, I have time on Tuesday or Wednesday. Are mornings or afternoons better for you?
Tip 5: Email Tuesday through Friday, Every Six Days
People’s email gets jumbled on Mondays. Avoid Mondays. We try to send out 300-500 emails between Tuesday and Friday. We then work responses throughout the week. We also call anyone that sends back an email because we know the prospect is accurate. Numbers matter here, so email like crazy. Remember, the goal is to be pleasantly persistent. Don’t email every day. You don’t want to become SPAM. We email every six days (and because we use a CRM with InsideSales.com we track all of our emailing). This keeps your emails on the forefront for your prospects without becoming annoying.
Email prospecting works. As stated earlier, we set on average 2-3 appointments per week, per BDR, using email prospecting. It also simplified your phone prospecting because you find decision makers faster. This leads to a 15% increase in appointments set over the phone. If you aren’t finding much success over the phone, try email. It works.