Yes that means that Part 5 will follow, which I guess makes this really Six Proven Ways to Get More Appointments: Bonus!
If you have been following this series to date, you may get the view that I only see the phone as a means to getting appointments, and that is certainly not the case. In today’s business environment it is important that you use all methods available to connect with potential prospects. Which these days includes e-mail.
Like other methods of communication e-mail has both pluses and minuses, but they can be managed.
In light of the fact that no matter how we get to lead, phone or e-mail, we are certainly an interruption and therefore must keep that top of mind. The target is likely trying to juggle a host of things and is not really looking to add more to their day, especially a sales pitch. The downside to e-mail, like voice mail, is that it is impersonal and easy enough for the recipient to deal with (read erase or delete), without even having to deal with the content or sender. So unless you have a message that is compelling enough, you’re dead in the water right there.
Now compelling does not mean a long verbose work that competes with Tolstoy or Puzu, it means something that will get the person to respond. With e-mail as voice mail, the goal is to get a response and convert that response to an appointment. Where many fail is that they try to get the appointment through e-mail or voice mail, which is not easy. Getting the person to respond is easier, and once they respond and you are talking to them directly you can go for the appointment.
Adding the challenge is the fact that their phone is likely to be the same utensil as their e-mail that is a BlackBerry. This is both good and bad. The good thing is that they take it everywhere, and look at it consistently; even in the middle of meetings they called. On the other hand it does generally lead to an instant response, which comes with its own upside/downside. Upside, if the response is positive, they tend to hit that reply button; and the conversation begins. Downside, if the response they formulate is negative, they just delete the message and you have to figure out why. Which is not the worst, as you just try again either by phone or other method.
The further challenge is that you have to articulate a message that will NOT CAUSE them to delete it, ideally respond right away, but Not Deleted is a win too; and you have to do this in a 2 inch by 2 ½ inch space, the BlackBerry Arena. A strong subject line and a clear succinct message. A specific goal of getting a positive response or at least not getting deleted.
This can be achieved by using a strong reference, perhaps a third party of mutual interest, perhaps a competitor. A useful quote from their executive or someone of specific interest to them. What ever reference you use, it has to be current, relevant to the target and has to be ethical. The subject line needs to be a call to action that relates to the message in the e-mail or voice mail. (see example of voice mail at Leveraging Voice Mail to Make More Sales! For e-mail, it would be similar, a call to action in the subject line, something brief and to the point in the body, ending with the repeat of the call to action. For example, I recently prospected a senior person at one of the banks. He was quoted in the daily paper about an initiative his bank had aimed at small business, let’s call the initiative Growing Biz.
Growing Biz call the week of August 11
Dear Mister Executive,
I am Tibor Shanto Principal with Renbor Sales Solutions, over the last three years we have helped XYZ Bank (with link to case study) set more appointments with Canada’s small business owners. I read about The Growing Biz program, and am writing to set up a call to discuss how we may help you and ABC Bank reach your objective.
How is Tuesday August 12 at 9:30 am?
Got the response that 9:30 does not work, but he was able to talk at 8:30. Response, no delete.
If they do delete, you can always write again or call, just don’t give up to soon, remember it takes 5 to 7 touch points for you to even register on their radar, don’t be like the reps who give up after two or three tries.
Tibor Shanto, The Pipeline