Most sales messages (AKA sales spam) that I see or receive are overly “me” centric. The message focuses on a seller’s agenda when it should focus on the prospects agenda. If you don’t communicate your message from the prospects point of view, you lose. Buyers want answers to their business problems. If you can show them that you solve those problems, you have a shot at a customer for life. But a word of caution… when I say, “show them how you solve their problem”, I do not mean rolling into your dog and pony, feature/benefit pitch.
Unsolicited messages that are ill conceived, generic, boring and use jargon that means nothing to your prospect are so commonplace, it makes me wonder if I’m the only one who thinks that if we could fix anything broken in the sales process today – this would be it.
What bothers me is that social selling “experts”, and I use the term loosely, pander the quick fix of sending LinkedIn InMail, as one strategy for engaging prospects in a sales conversation. In theory, it can work IF you tell a really compelling story that captures the prospects attention at just the right time. That, friends, is a really big IF. I was talking with a fairly seasoned sales professional a few days ago about this very topic, because she uses InMail to communicate with prospects. When I asked how often they responded, she said almost never.
There is a reason this happens. You are a stranger and your prospect just isn’t that in to you.
Buyers are assaulted on all fronts by people who want to sell them something. It is no wonder than less than 10% of buyers actually respond to emails and phone calls from strangers.
Salespeople and marketers continue to complain that decision makers are harder to reach. It’s true, they are. And I think that sellers and marketers are largely to blame. Don’t think so?
In a 2013 Digital Marketing Digest released by Silverpop, they say that “Buyers, fed up with crowded inboxes and irrelevant advertising noise, are shutting out content that isn’t relevant to them and using search and social to control their own buyer journeys.”
I have found that these 5 things get you much closer to your objective – talking to your prospect:
- Cultivate referrals – trusted partners who can get you in the door
- Secure introductions – find common connections, call them and ask for their help
- Attract people to you – share relevant, educational and valuable content
- Use social networks to listen – follow your prospects, pay attention to what matters to them
- Give first – share your prospects content, give them a shout-out, connect them to a contact
In more ways than one. Whether you know it or not, the random, pitchy emails you are sending are either uplifting your brand or slowly killing it over time. If pipeline and revenue is the goal, now would be a good time to do a complete overhaul of the sales message strategy you are using.