2 types of prospectors: those who say too much, and those who don’t say enough

by Will Rotondi

You’ve seen emails like them before. They are practically newsletters that you didn’t ask to receive, nor do you care to read about someone you don’t even know. Or the ones that are so short and vague that you have to do a double-take to make sure you read them correctly the first time because you were skimming through them so quickly.

Which type of prospector are you?

The “too muchers” will claim they want to be thorough and specific, while the “too littlers” think a broad statement is easy to understand. That’s not to say that either group is necessarily wrong in their own regard, it’s just that they’ll each be less likely to get the answers they want out of their prospects than if they met in the middle.

But, to illustrate my point, let’s look at an example: customer service training.

  • The Too Much Version

Customer service is an important part of any business. Without it, you’re less likely to retain x number of clients over a y month period. We offer a patented system that is guaranteed to improve your customer ratings and retention by 120 percent—at minimum. You can see success stories here on how it’s worked for others in your field, and what it can do for you at your company. I’d like to discuss some training options with you that I think you’ll find very valuable for your staff. Would you have time this week to chat? If not, what time next week is better?

  • The Too Little Version

I’d like to talk about customer service.

#1 addresses what you want to talk about, if you bothered to read past the sales pitch. #2 addresses the subject matter, but gives no clarity about what part of customer service they’re referring to.

Ask yourself – would you respond or read through each of those in a given day, among all of the other emails you probably receive? Doubtful.

Back to my point: meet in the middle. I’d like to learn about your current customer service training. Who can I speak with who manages this?

That way, if the person you’re reaching out to isn’t really the ideal prospect to broach a conversation with, they’re more inclined to point you to someone at their office who is – especially when you’re a) not trying to pitch them on your service, and b) clear about what it is that you want to learn about from them.

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