If you’re in the recruiting business and you’re serious about drumming up new business by tele-prospecting then you absolutely, positively need to integrate emails into your approach to the market. If you compose an effective, eye catching email and combine it with a disciplined telephone follow up program, you will get past more gatekeepers, get more voicemails returned, speak to more decision makers and get more appointments.
This month’s article will show you everything you need to know to get you started and to make you more effective with your tele-prospecting efforts.
IVEMP refers to “integrated voice and email prospecting.” It is the process of combing the visual power of an email with the audio power of a well-crafted voice message, be it a live conversation or a voicemail. IVEMP is NOT about sending email blasts and hoping that you get a response. It is about crafting 1:1 emails, working in small batches and customizing your approach. The emphasis is quality.
Email as Initial Contact
The concept of sending something to a prospect and making a follow up call is not a particularly new or scintillating idea. Sales reps have been doing that for years. What makes IVEMP more relevant in today’s marketplace is that emails are becoming the preferred method of B2B communication. It is fast replacing the telephone as the primary means of initial contact in prospecting.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Think of what smartphones have done to the business (and personal) world. Your email follows your prospect. It follows him or her during the commute to work, it’s always visible or near their desk, it tags along (and gets read) during meetings and at lunch. That same email lingers over dinner and sits on the sofa as your prospect watches the latest reality TV show. If it’s good email, it will be seen and remembered.
But the operative word is GOOD.
If you don’t send a compelling message your email is deleted in a nanosecond and completely forgotten. And let’s face it most B2B emails are NOT good. They are hyped promotions that are self-serving and mundane. Consequently, your telephone follow up call has no leverage. You lose the competitive edge and you’re relegated to competing with all the other recruiters out there for the same piece of business.
The 3 Keys
There are three keys to making email work more effectively for you in the prospecting process:
- An email list;
- A superbly written email, and;
- A strong voice follow-up program.
Part I: How to Get Email Addresses
Here is the fastest and easiest way to get email addresses:
Suppose you are looking for the name and email address of the director of HR. You could call the receptionist but you know and I know that your chance of getting the email address is extremely low. Instead, skip the gatekeeper and ask to speak to someone in sales.
The neat thing is that there is always someone in a sales department looking for the low hanging fruit and waiting for a call. You rarely encounter voicemail. When you get a rep on the phone, be candid. Explain who you are and why you’re calling. Point out that you’re in sales just like them and ask if they will “help you out.” The vast majority will because they’re empathetic and know the challenges of cold calling. Ask them for the name, direct phone number and the email address of the HR director. If the rep is a little reluctant, ask them for their email address so that you can “send them a thank you email.” They’ll give you the email address and with it, you’ve got the code. Et voila.
(Click or paste this http://bit.ly/LcfdnJ into your browser for six other ways to get email addresses.)
Part II: How to Compose a Hella’uva Email
It’s important to note again that most marketing /prospecting emails are moronic, self-serving, long, and tedious. Most are generic and irrelevant to the prospect. To top it off, your prospects get lots of emails. Consequently, they tend to be ruthless in evaluating them and look for ways to delete them.
There are six factors that determine if your e -mails get deleted. Work on these areas and you’ll increase the odds of your email being opened, read and remembered:
Factor #1: The From line
Don’t play games here. Some recruiters will send an email using their Yahoo or Gmail account in order to “disguise” their company name and get the prospect to open up the email. Don’t be tempted to do the same. Prospects are skeptical enough. Getting an email from an unknown sender from Yahoo is guaranteed to get your message deleted. Use your company name because it legitimizes your email.
Factor #2: The Subject line
The single most important part of your email is your subject line. Subject lines need to be eye magnets; something the pulls the eye and gets your prospect to notice it, tempting them to open the email, and scan further. You have about two seconds to this otherwise they hit the delete button. You do this in two ways. First, use your prospect’s first name in the subject line. When they see their name, prospects read further because it is personalized, and therefore relevant.
The second ways to draw the eye is to create a subject line that creates curiosity. You want your prospect to be intrigued enough to open the email rather than dismissing it. This means you need to hint and not reveal too much. For instance:
- “Jennifer, an idea to reduce the cost of recruitment…”
- “Craig, frustrated with the time and effort to hire sales reps?”
- “Aaron, can we talk tomorrow at 8:15?
- “Pat, 3 ways to reduce your risks when hiring new employees”
- “Kerri, the true cost of finding, keep and selecting executive talent?”
- “Michael, is your employee retention strategy doing just the opposite?”
- “Stefani, a quick question”
- “Katie, are you 100% satisfied with the quality of the sales reps you recruit?”
Notice that the subject lines relate to a problem or an opportunity. They entice, and pique curiosity. They don’t try to ‘sell’ the prospect. The objective is simply to get them to open the email and scan further.
Factor #3: The Salutation
If you get your prospect to open the email, the next area they glance at is the salutation. The best way to get your prospect interested is to use an informal greeting: “Jennifer” or “Hi Mark.” If it’s formal “(Dear Ms. Bryant”) you run the risk of being too formal and alerting your prospect that this is a ‘form’ email.
Factor #4: The Opening line
Your opening line should be one sentence long. Anything longer than that can look or seem ‘lengthy’ and busy executives don’t have time for blather. Cut to the quick and pull them further into the copy otherwise they’ll delete your email or put it aside for reading later (which they’ll never do).
Your opener should extend from your subject line. Usually it’s a good idea to ‘pick at a scab’ (a problem or concern). For example, let’s say your subject line is, “Craig, frustrated with the time and effort to hire sales reps?” You opening line might be something like this:
Quick question: are you absolutely, 100% satisfied with your sales recruiting efforts?
Based on my experience, most of the clients I work with are NOT 100% satisfied with the recruitment of sales reps. Most are not even 50% happy with the net result. It’s a pebble in the shoe of most HR directors or sales executives, and an opening line like this will likely lure them further into the message.
Factor #5: The Message
The remainder of your email — the body message — must be short and clean with lots of white space. It should not “look” hard to read. And remember this: prospects don’t really read emails, they scan them. You want to make your email easy on the eye. This means paragraphs that are no more than three lines maximum. Short sentences are better than long. You should not have more than three paragraphs in total (unless they are very short).
Next — and this is important — you want to give information that expands the challenge or concern that you can fix. You also want to offer a solution. But you DON’T want to pitch the solution and give details. To continue from the above example from Factor #4: The Opening line:
Most executives aren’t.
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Every day hundreds of sales execs like you are faced with the frustration and hassle of less than mediocre sales staff. The cost in terms of sales and revenues lost, not to mention the cost in recruiting, is almost too overwhelming to contemplate.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
At ABC Recruiters we CAN reduce the cost, time and effort in finding top notch sales representative. Plain and simple. Using a variety of strategies and tactics we help you get better and more effective sales rep who generate sales faster.
Notice that your solution is nothing remarkable. You might embellish your message a bit more than the example above, but not by much. The reason? No one cares about your process. They know you’ll glorify your solution anyway. What they want is HOPE: Hope that you can improve their situation and get them the kind of employee that hits home runs. Your quiet confidence implies that.
Factor #6: The “Actionability“
The final component to your email is the action that you want your prospect to take. You have to make things easy for them. Nobody wants more work to do. In this example, it’s a piece of cake; the prospect doesn’t have to take any action other than to be aware that you’ll be calling them. Here’s how it looks:
Craig, I’ll give you a call tomorrow at 8:15 to assess your situation and to determine if our service might be of any benefit.
Make sure you have a ‘signature’ file beneath your name that has your phone number and a link to your web site. This further legitimizes you and your company, and it provides a means for the prospect to ‘check you out’.
Your prospect doesn’t have to do a thing except wait for you call. Of course, they don’t all sit there anxiously awaiting your call. Some will email you back and tell you not to bother. And that’s okay.
What this line really does is give you a pretext for calling. It gives you a way to tackle gatekeeper screens like, “Is he expecting your call.” It also gives you the means of creating a good opening line when you reach your prospect. Finally, if you need to leave a voicemail, there is a relevancy to the message.