Email is our daily work tool and allows us to be in contact with co-workers, customers and potential clients any time of the day … or night. While email is something you manage in the workplace every day, are you fully optimizing this tool, especially when it comes to securing new business?

In this issue, Promotional Consultant Today shares this insight from Jill Konrath, author of The Ultimate Guide to Email. She recently received a message from a fan who read her book and had these suggestions:

I explain to my sales team that asking people to call you back is a bit obnoxious—even if there is value and reason. When you do that your prospects are left thinking, “Wait, you want me to call you so you can pitch me? You want me to stop doing my job and search for time in my calendar to give you so that you can sell me? Are you kidding?”

I try to put as much of the onus on myself as possible to connect. Here are some ways I do that.

Example 1: “I have time free on Friday, July 6 at 2 pm. I’ll reach out to you then to discuss. I hope you’re able to take my call.”

With this closing statement, you’re:

  • Showing that you are not asking anything from them
  • Carrying the labor of the continued conversation
  • Passively, not aggressively, trying to connect

Example 2: “I’ll reach out to Mary to see if you have some time free next week.”

By suggesting that you’ll reach out to your prospect’s executive assistant, you’re:

  • Showing that you’ve done your homework
  • Following the correct protocol for the continued conversation
  • Not asking anything from your prospect and his or her busy schedule

Example 3: “I have time free on Friday, July 6 at 2 pm. Are you free at that time to talk?”

By closing this way, you’re:

  • Still asking your prospect to do something, although it’s minimal. The prospect just needs to check one date/time in the calendar.
  • Giving the prospect enough time (at least a week out) to ensure an available spot on the calendar.

By taking this approach, I am applying a successful passive/aggressive strategy and am able to send three to five emails and make three calls without annoying the prospect.

Here are a few additional suggestions to increase your email cold calling success rate:

  • On the morning of my proposed meeting I’ll send an email stating: “As per my message, I’ll be calling you today at … I hope that we’re able to connect. Please let me know if that time still works.”
  • I try to splice the attempts with value. Before the scheduled call attempt, I may forward my prospect an article stating, “This company looks like it is going through the same thing as your company … check out their approach.” Or, on a voicemail, state, “By the way, B2B magazine has a whole section this month on … and I know that’s a big focus for you guys.”

Try these email tips for improved prospecting. Watch for PCT to return to your inbox tomorrow.

Source: Jill Konrath is a frequent speaker at sales conferences and kick-off meetings. Sharing her fresh sales strategies, she helps salespeople to speed up new customer acquisition and win bigger contracts. Her clients include IBM, GE, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Staples and numerous mid-market firms.