An email received this week (typos and all):
“I hope you enjoyed the weekend. I tried your office this morning but unfortunately could not get a hold of you. I would like to meet with you next week to learn more about Weiss Communications and its overall operational structure. With the emergence of converged services, businesses are demanding greater performance from their networks than ever before. I would like to present a solution that will offer cost-effective security, any-to-any connectivity, quality of service, scalable bandwidth, and a platform for convergence that eliminates network redundancies and supports a fully meshed enterprise environment. XYZ Company can be your strategic partners as you work complete your vision. Our dedicated team of professionals, robust product portfolio, and unmatched commitment to delivering the highest possible level of service will make a key impact to your organization.
“I am seeking to build and maintain a long-standing relationship with your organization that enables me to help you work smarter and more efficiently. We are proud of our reputation as an industry leader in customer service and continually strive to lead the industry in key service areas like installation, repair, and client services. Over the past years, we have made significant investments into our network infrastructure and increased our local support teams. You will always have access to the people you need, when you need them.
“To that end, I would like to take a collaborative approach to understanding your business. Please let me know when you will be available for next week to further discuss strategies.
“I look forward to hearing from you.”
When I finished howling and cackling and calling all my colleagues to read this email to them, I sat down to write this article.
So where to begin?
1. This prospector said he wants to “learn more about Weiss Communications and its overall operational structure.” Why should I spend my valuable time educating someone—a total stranger–on my business? He should have the smarts and resourcefulness to do some investigating, learn about my business and then use what he has learned to catch my attention.
Lesson Learned: Do some research on your prospects before you call or email. This will enable you to speak directly to the concerns of your prospect and increase the chances that they would want to speak with you. With all the information that is now so easily accessible and available there is no reason not to know at least the basics about the company you are calling.
2. I have absolutely no idea what this company does and/or why I should be interested in meeting. This prospector needs to be clear. This is a very long email to say absolutely nothing. If your prospect doesn’t understand what you are talking about, they will hit delete. On the phone they will say, “Not interested,” and hang up.
Lesson Learned: Be clear, concise and to the point. No jargon unless you are absolutely sure your prospect will understand it.
3. The entire email was about the prospector and the prospector’s company. He says:
“I would like to meet with you next week…”
“I would like to present a solution…”
“Our dedicated team of professionals…”
“I am seeking to build and maintain…”
“We are proud of our reputation…”
“…we have made significant investments…”
“I would like to take a collaborative approach…”
There’s nothing in the email about me–the prospect. It’s all about what he wants and what his company is doing.
Lesson Learned: Focus your message on your prospect. It’s not about you – it’s about the prospect.
4. The prospector says: “Our dedicated team of professionals, robust product portfolio, and unmatched commitment to delivering the highest possible level of service will make a key impact to your organization.” Having a “key impact” is probably a good thing, although he never actually says what that “key impact” might be.
Lesson Learned: Make sure the focus of your communication is on the value that you represent and be clear what that value is. Your prospect will not guess, figure it out on their own or spend any time at all trying to understand what you’re saying. Make sure that your email (or your telephone call) is about the value that you bring to customers and state that value in clear simple terms that are easy to understand.
Prospecting by email is very much like prospecting by phone. Your phone call needs to be direct and concise, focused on your prospect and on the value that you represent. Likewise, your email needs to be direct and concise, focused on your prospect and on the value that you represent.
If you’d like more help knowing what to say to prospects, I’d like to invite you to download my Special Free Report, Getting in the Door: How to Write an Effective Cold Calling Script. You can easily access it here: http://www.wendyweiss.com.