Would you send out 400 emails daily to prospects?

Would you send out 400 emails daily to your prospects?

That’s exactly what an IT consulting firm in India has been doing. However, results have been mixed. First, the firm has been receiving a 40% bounce back rate. And second, the sales team has been complaining that the prospects who have responded to their emails have been weak. As a result of these problems, the firm posted an inquiry on a LinkedIn sales discussion board seeking advice.

Here is my advice –

Stop sending out 400 emails daily:

It’s one thing to send out emails if you are offering trial subscriptions to niche publications, or selling design services to marketing directors – provided that you include an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of your email. But when you are dealing with prospects who need complex services and products, such as IT or telecommunications employees, you are only hurting your company’s  reputation by sending so many unsolicited emails.

The more complex the sale, the more consultative you have to be with your clients. Prospects in the IT, telecommunications or similar industries are turned off by sales people – they are seeking peers and consultants, not someone who is only interested in doing product dumps.

Personalize and Customize: 

If you must feel the need to send out so many emails, try to personalize and customize each one. Sending out an email with a salutation of “Dear Sir or Madam:” isn’t going to cut it. And sending out an email with the person’s first name highlighted in a different color than the rest of your text screams “merge spam” – i.e., you are so concerned about sending out tons of emails that you don’t take the time to ensure person’s name is the same color and font as the rest of your text.

Don’t just send out emails:

Sending out a bunch of emails isn’t like throwing mud to the wall and hoping that some of it will stick. You have to be more creative. That means making cold calls, leaving voice mail messages and maybe direct marketing pieces to larger prospects. In advertising, there is an old saying that goes like this “advertise multiple ways on multiple days.” When it comes generating new business, you should be “contacting prospects in multiple ways on different days.”

For example, I know of one Northern Virginia software company that sends out at least 6 emails to the same prospects over a period of time. That’s ridiculous. You need to mix up your attempts. While studies have shown that you need to make at least 6 to 8 attempts per prospect, that doesn’t mean spamming them to death. As I mention above, use a different variety of contact methods. For example, some prospects may not respond well to emails, but may respond better by a phone call, or a direct marketing piece. Test. See what works and doesn’t work.

Selling isn’t sending out a bunch of emails. Selling is engagement. You have to be more proactive if you want to be successful.

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