An Effective Sales Email Cadence: More Than Just Timing

Timing of sales prospecting touchpoints is important. But when deciding on a sales email cadence, avoid focusing on timing of messages alone. Communications technique is vital to earning responses and qualifying prospects for meetings.

Email Cadence vs. Conversational Cadence

There’s a difference between your email’s delivery timing and the speed at which you move discussion forward. Be aware, when your email arrives does matter — especially to kick-start the discussion.

But beyond your initial response the speed of discussion is critical to quickly qualifying the discussion.

When starting an email discussion with a provocation, be brief and blunt. Once you’ve earned the reply go S-L-O-W. Don’t rush into talking about yourself, your solution, your clients … you-you-you.

Instead, ask buyers direct questions that qualify further discussion.

Avoid Biased Questions

But be careful — biased questions (designed to give you insights about the client) often reveal biased answers. If a client sees your question as one that serves YOU more than them … that’s a big problem.

You don’t want clients giving you answers they think you want — for your reasons. Instead, ask unbiased questions as a means to help the prospect:

  • Surface hidden pains they (personally) don’t have direct exposure to
  • Reveal who other decision makers are without fear of you pouncing on them
  • Find their own answers hidden in their thoughts

These kinds of questions focus the prospect inward, on themselves. This reveals their own concerns, fears and internal processes — each of which are useful to you in a way that doesn’t make you look self-serving.

Once you have the conversation started focus on:

  1. Guiding it, allowing prospects to drive the kind and pacing of contact
  2. Holding back information (sometimes against your instinct)
  3. Keeping discussion alive (when they go dark) … yet being at peace with lost leads
  4. Creating a set of useful responses based on issues/pains/worries/goals

A Good Sales Email Cadence Filters Prospects

The power of a good sales email cadence is obvious. But a good conversational cadence is even better because it helps your prospects qualify or disqualify themselves.

Making this happen is easy when using a scientifically proven communications technique.

Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Use email as a means to grab attention — spark curiosity.
  2. Once you have that curiosity, keep it going. Once the customer replies asking for more details, give a few more — but only enough detail to temporarily satisfy their curiosity.
  3. This “give-and-take” can span two, five or even seven emails.

Within this series of messages, we create tension — wherein the customer is tempted to short-circuit the email exchange and request a meeting. Thus, your exchange of emails is a faster way to qualify the customer. The potential buyer qualifies themselves, via email, rather than you wasting precious time on the phone.

Good luck!

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

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