Recognize the symptoms of unhealthy prospecting

Email prospecting can be your most effective means of engaging in B2B conversations, but even it exhibits symptoms to alert you when your process is getting a little unhealthy.

No feeling well

Your email frequency

Some prospectors email once and move on. Others bombard their prospects with messages every couple of days in the hopes that they’ll respond faster. Both are ineffective. Emailing once takes for granted that your prospects will receive it and remember who you are. Emailing too much gives the impression that you’re aggressive—or worse, spamming them. A respectful, consistent email schedule is typically once every two weeks.

Your messaging

Avoid the temptation to list off selling points or products and services that you offer. Your email isn’t a marketing or sales flyer—it’s the beginning to a conversation. Prospects are more likely to respond and help you when you lay out the bare essentials: what you want to talk about, who you want to talk to, and how you want to talk with them (scheduling a phone call).

Your intended recipients

True, not everyone you reach out to will be the right person for a conversation. But you want to cast a wide enough net at each company you approach so that you either get the right person, or you’re referred to them by a colleague. That requires you to mind your language: you should be using terminology that is broadly understood across departments so that they can direct you to the appropriate person.

How you’re handling responses

Positive responses from your prospects mean nothing if you don’t continue the dialogue. When someone emails you, keep their attention and get them to a phone call by responding within 24 hours. Otherwise, you could end up right back at Square 1. This includes how well you answer any questions that your prospects ask of you, especially if they want to clarify who you are and why you’re emailing. Remember the points above about messaging and who you’re writing to.

Treat these symptoms in your own email prospecting and you’ll see an improvement in your new business discussions.

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