I shared some thoughts on this topic several years ago. As I've received countless additional inquiries and attempts my salespeople do "get the conversation started," I decided to adjust the post and add some recommendations.
One of the things we do at Imagine is to work with our clients to develop effective lead generation. We use email strategies, content strategies and even calling strategies. When implementing, I inevitably get a concern that "People don't read emails," or "I don't take calls." The real reason for this is poor execution - not poor tactics.
Let me be clear about something I haven’t said in a long time:
It doesn’t matter if you are a salesperson or an executive. Whether you are communicating with a prospect or a client. When you initiate communication that doesn’t mean anything, you add to the cost of doing business with you, and make yourself less attractive to do business with.
Let me share with you a prototypical example of many of the emails and calls I receive on a daily basis. I will be deleting the names of the sender and their companies to protect the guilty. This is an example of a call I received recently...
I am the Anne Arundel County representative for [company withheld], and recently heard about your business. I was told that I needed to come out and talk to you. I would love the opportunity to share with you information about Baltimore and Washington’s most comprehensive publication. Looking forward to meeting you.
Have a great weekend.
This has the daily double: communicating no value whatsoever and using deceit. “I was told I needed to come out and talk to you.” Nice. It leaves the impression that someone has referred them to me, without actually lying. However, it’s a lie anyway.
Further, what in this message gives me the slightest reason to clear time in my calendar to talk with this person?
Do you want me (or your prospect) to respond? Then put in the time to:
- Research your list.
- Identify real potential concerns/problems I may be facing.
- Craft your Commercial Teaching Point-of-View.
- Don’t lie.
- Be clear.
If you give me a compelling reason to respond, there’s a good chance I will. If not, we’re just wasting everybody’s time – and you’re killing your margins.