The Root Cause of Prospecting Email Troubles

Whether using standard email or LinkedIn’s InMail, there is one problem I see repeatedly: Talking about the benefits of products and services too soon. It’s the most common sales prospecting email hurdle to jump, and for good reason.

EmailWhether using standard email or LinkedIn’s InMail, there is one problem I see repeatedly: Talking about the benefits of products and services too soon. It’s the most common sales prospecting email hurdle to jump, and for good reason.

Most sellers are stuck. “What else is there to talk about at this point anyway?”

That’s why we take the easy way out. The lazy way. Talking about solutions to customers’ problems.

And that’s why we fail to earn replies. Instead, we talk only about their problems — not your solution. Not yet.

Yes, there may be other problems sabotaging your cold email, such as:

  • A subject line that is too “telling” about your message
  • Length of your message and/or lack of a provocative element
  • Use of words that subvert your goal, don’t trigger an immediate reply

But the issue of breaking the ice is the most common problem when prospecting using email. How can you start a relevant conversation when you don’t know what to talk about?

How to Break the Habit
The fastest way to break the habit is to take action right now. Literally. First, let’s put the problem into context.

Talking about benefits with your prospects isn’t the problem. The problem is your entire approach style. The premise of your approach.

Your first touch email must not:

  • Attempt to earn a meeting, appointment or demo
  • Take longer than 20 seconds to read
  • Reference you, your client list, products nor benefits

Do not try for the meeting in your first touch. Asking for what you want, too soon, will fail.

Instead, attract the prospect to the idea of talking with you. First, get invited to discuss a challenge, fear or goal your prospect has.

The meeting will come. Trust in it.

Be brief, blunt and provocative.

Talk About This Instead: Real Life
If you’re not in touch with the day-to-day nightmares, problems, hidden challenges, big opportunities and nagging suspicions of your customers, nothing will help you. Period. You must be willing to research, understand and know your prospects inside-out.

No exceptions.