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HOW TO GET SALES PROSPECTS TO OPEN YOUR EMAILS

Email_4_-_349_shadowWould you open the prospecting emails you’re presently sending to others?

I recently looked back some of my prospecting emails over the years. I cringed. It’s not that all of them were so bad, but there certainly were a few approaches I tried I wouldn’t want anyone to ever read.

With those silent echoes rattling around my head, I took a bit to time to find a solid resource to pass on to you today.

Known as “The Sales Hunter,” keynote speaker, best-selling author, award-winning blogger Mark Hunter (@thesaleshunter) created a post a little while back titled: “6 Ways to Get Prospects to Open Your Emails.”

It’s the next blog post you need to read.

Hunter begins with an important question:

Ask yourself this question: “Do I read emails I receive from people I don’t know?”

You likely open some of them, but not the majority of them. What percentage of email messages do you open from perfect strangers who, you know, want to sell you something?

The pinnacle of this post occurs when The Sales Hunter gives us an example email he recommends (later in the post, where it belongs). It follows the 6 elements Hunter lays out for us in his post.

I especially like recommendation #2:

2. Never start the email introducing yourself and extolling all kinds of fluffy talk.

This goes against a lot of what I see in emails I receive on a weekly basis, but it’s right. Why, you ask?

Sorry, those days are gone. The person receiving the email may very well be viewing it on a smartphone, which means they’re going to decide whether to read or delete based on the first 5 or 6 words. Don’t waste words. Make the first sentence be about something that’s going to grab their attention.

To get the other 5 recommendations, along with a read of the email that brings it all together, click to read Mark Hunter’s postnow.

BONUS: Mark Hunter has some other excellent posts on the topic of prospecting. Here are a few I recommend reading:

[Reading Time of Hunter’s Post: 3:00]

QUESTION: What additional cold email trick have you tried with continued success?

Let’s talk about it…

Read more »

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B2B CONTENT, EFFECTIVE PROSPECTING TACTICS & A NEW MINDSET ::: FSG LINKS

B2B_Coffee_315_shadowThis week’s links covers content marketing for B2B organizations, effective prospecting tactics for email and other conversations, as well as some inspiration regarding the way you view your daily work in sales.

Come back daily and be sure to visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

SOCIAL SELLING:
CONTENT MARKETING :::

openview labs
7 Reasons Content Marketing Is Vital For Your B2B Business
Content marketing maven [and plant enthusiast] Kara Burney (@wkndatburneys with @trackmaven for @OpenViewVenture) uses some convincing data from the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, and other sources, to make a strong case for the use of content marketing by B2B organizations.

KEY QUOTE: “92% of B2B companies produce content marketing in-house.”

Are you in the 8%? Then it’s time to get started. If you’re a part of the 92%, don’t settle for “doing content marketing.” Never stop improving. #areyouconvincedyet
[Reading Time: 3:00]

HOW TO: PROSPECTING :::

SalesLoft Blog
One And Done: The Email That Will Get You A Demo
Content marketing specialist [and amateur karaoke star] Leah Bell (@leahwinterbell with @SalesLoft) gives us more than just a good example of a successful sales email. She gives us a great example of how to look at testing and learning with the email messages we send out every day.

KEY QUOTE: “We’re not saying that this email will work forever (or even at all) — especially if you don’t test it regularly. Use A/B testing to find the right balance of customization in your email templates. Measure your results, and then test again. Every process is unique, which is precisely why personalization and semi-automation are crucial with sincerity at scale.”

Even with that caveat, and it’s a wise note to add (or I may not have linked to it here), I believe each of you can definitely learn something new from this post. Find what that is for you, then apply it. #multiplysuccesses
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]

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Score More Sales Blog
Great Questions to Ask Prospects
Speaker, author, trainer [and connector] Lori Richardson (@ScoreMoreSales) is back with another excellent, useful how-topost. This time, it’s geared toward prospecting. We all know we need to take advantage of it if there’s a way to make us even a little more effective with this task.

KEY QUOTE: “Get them talking and learn from them, without sounding like an interrogator. If you are truly curious and sound that way, it will be a more helpful conversation than if you have a list of questions to answer – so be flexible, and if they go a different direction with their answer, such as the need to find more good staff for their department, go with it and ask them more about that.”

Draw from Lori’s experience to make your next conversation with a prospect more profitable. #thequestionsyouaskmatter
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]

INSPIRATION :::

BillCaskey.com
Selling Isn’t Meant To Be A Struggle
Speaker, author, trainer, podcaster [and Dad of two great daughters] Bill Caskey (@billcaskey) offers some great inspiration to help us change our mind sets about the effort we make in our sales work every day. We shouldn’t view selling as a struggle.

KEY QUOTE: “…when you are on purpose, prospecting behavior will never be a struggle.”

Doing hard work doesn’t need to equate to the idea of struggling. Be careful about the connotations you freely attach to things in your life. It really is your choice. #itstimeforchange
[Reading Time: 2:00]

 

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: COLD EMAIL & LINKEDIN OPTIMIZATION

Email_2_-_309_shadowThis week’s links offer A LOT of optimization advice for being as effective as possible in your cold emails, as well as 33 little ways to give you a big ROI for what you’re doing in LinkedIn.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

HOW TO: EMAIL :::

Sales Hacker Blog
7 Sales Email Secrets to Drive Deals Forward
First off, you do NOT already know all of this information, so you should definitely check out this resource. It’s extremely useful and informative.

Director of Sales at Yesware, Mike Haylon (@mhaylon for @saleshackerconf) presented this information so you can either read it as a regular post or scroll to the end and press play and click through the slides in the presentation provided.

Key Quote: “Best practices:

1. Identify the top performing templates.
2. Understand why they worked well.
3. Share the good templates.”

Make use of this one, and be sure to pass it on to your colleagues. #usetheseeveryday
[Reading Time: 4:00]
[BONUS: Audio Presentation Time: 25:09]

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Marketo Blog
Marketo Data Tells Us: Which Type of Emails Have the Highest Conversion Rates?
Platform Product Marketing Manager, Johnny Cheng (@marketerjohnny with @marketo) keeps us on the email optimization theme with these helpful findings you should put into practice starting today, beginning with your trigger email.

Key Quote: “Trigger emails perform 3x better than any other email type. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that’s done trigger emails. The power of personalized messages based on behavior is powerful.”

Don’t miss the “Key Take-Aways.” #bemoreeffective
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]

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SalesFolk Blog
How to Write Unforgettable Cold Emails
Kathie Irwin (@buildingspeak for SalesFolk @HeatherReyhan) created a post to keep us going on the email topic with a strong focus on storytelling and story development.

Key Quote: “…the best stories are like little brainworms– sticking around in our brains, occasionally coming to the front of our minds when something triggers it. Most cold emails are a soulless march through benefit after benefit, ending in a desperate plea for your prospect’s business.”

Keep an eye on the SalesFolk blog for useful content you can read and immediately put into action. #onceuponatime
[Reading Time: 3:30]

HOW TO: LINKEDIN :::

TheMuse.com
33 Tweet-Size LinkedIn Tips You Need to Try
Lily Herman (@lkherman) created a post featuring this valuable infographic originally created by @Ethos3. It offers 33 bits of advice, each in 140 characters or less from a wide variety of people.

Key Quote: “Being fans of tweet-sized tidbits of career advice, we thought we’d make the process of learning the latest facts about LinkedIn way easier. Check out the infographic below to learn what you can be doing to make your professional profile the best one ever in just 140 characters or fewer.”

Think of this as tapas-style social selling optimization at its best (I didn’t even know that was a thing). #bitesizeadvice
[Reading Time: 3:00]

 

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: TRIGGERS, DEPARTURES, BUYER FRUSTRATIONS & EMAILS

Idea_Lightbulb_300_shadowThis week’s links cover becoming the sales trigger, recovering after a sales team member leaves, things your B2B buyer is tired of and some key emails you need to have ready for the right situations.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

EARN MORE SALES :::

TheSalesBlog.com
Be the Trigger Event

Speaker, author, and sales leader Anthony Iannarino (@iannarino) always has a good word to share, and I genuinely appreciate that he seems to consistently write his posts only as long as they need to be. Brevity is a great quality in a sales professional.

Iannarino may give you your latest “A-HA!” moment for your sales career in this post.

KEY QUOTE: You are the trigger when you know how to share the implications of political, technological, economic, and cultural changes in a way that allows your client to see around corners, avoiding hidden dangers, and taking advantage of new opportunities.

There should be at least one idea in reading this post where you’ll honestly feel more empowered. Keep writing Anthony. I enjoy making time to read what you have to say. #feelthepower
[Reading Time: 2:30]

LEADERSHIP :::

BizLockerRoom.com
3 Steps to Pivot Through a Key Employee Departure

CEO, columnist and author Marissa Levin (with @salesgravy) crafted this blog post for a fairly specific, yet common situation. I really like knowing this resource is out there for us. It’s helpful, efficiently written and encouraging for those sales teams who have recently lost a key colleague to another company.

KEY QUOTE: Leadership is never really about the needs of the leader. Leadership is about the followers – your employees, customer, investors, and partners. It’s about the entity and the community that you are building. However, to put yourself in the shoes of your stakeholders, you must have a strong sense of self-awareness. You must know your own triggers and reactions, and then adjust them accordingly. As a leader, your reactions to situations are being watched and evaluated.

What you do as the sales leader of your team matters a lot…especially in the little things. If you’re not in this situation at this time (and I hope you are not), bookmark this for yourself or for a peer who will eventually deal with this potentially difficult challenge. #leaderslead
[Reading Time: 2:30]

CONNECTING WITH BUYERS :::

RAIN Group
5 Things Your B2B Buyer Wants You To Stop Doing
B2B sales trainer, coach & consultant Ago Cluytens (@acluytens) posted this very helpful article with a video to accompany it. So, either watch or read…how many online resources give you that option?

What I really like about this is how well Cluytens puts us in the shoes of the B2B buyer in order to drive home some very important points.

KEY QUOTE: It’s not me versus you. It’s us versus the problem.

Just in case you glance at the 5 points and think you’ve heard it all before, I urge you to click on the video and listen to Ago explain his case to you. It’s worth your time, then pass it on to someone else. #dontbethatguy
[Reading Time: 4:30]
[Viewing Time: 4:59]

IanBrodie.com
[VIDEO] 3 Powerful Emails You MUST Have In Your Toolkit
Ian Brodie (@ianbrodie) has a series of videos he calls his “5 Minute Marketing Tips.” This week’s tip runs a bit longer than 5 minutes, but all is forgiven because he’s right about the importance of having these 3 emails written and ready in your arsenal.

KEY QUOTE: A lot of the big corporate email systems as well, are looking at system wide engagement rates. If you’ve got lots of people who aren’t opening and clicking your emails, they kind of mark you down, and they’re much more likely to push your emails into the spam folder or the promotions tab, or somewhere else. So the people who do want to get your emails might not see them. You don’t want people not opening and clicking your emails.

The video transcript is available below the video player, but Brodie will connect better with you about his tips if you watch him. Besides, you can’t hear his great accent if you read it yourself. #emailisnotdead
[Viewing Time: 6:54]

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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10 SUREFIRE WAYS TO #FAIL IN YOUR EMAIL ETIQUETTE

FAIL_440I need to make a confession…

I thought of that title after reading Bubba Page’s article (@BubbaPage, along with @MaxAlts) for Inc.com titled, “10 Must-Follow Rules of Email Etiquette.”

My title plays off the fact that if you don’t read and take heed of Page’s direction on this important topic we [most often subconsciously] deal with every day, then it will only be a matter of time until you FAIL hard. It will not be pretty…it never is.

If that isn’t motivation enough to keep reading, let’s take a look at my favorite moment reading Page’s piece:

Your connections and relationships are extremely important and introductions are delicate. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when they aren’t treated as such. Therefore, here is my lesson in introductions that should be used by all salespeople, or even just all human beings in general.

If those words strongly resonated with you , as they did with me, then you’re definitely ahead of the curve. By my estimation, about a third of all people would see that and deeply agree, another third more or less would agree but not be moved to action/growth, and the rest wouldn’t really care.

If you’re in the middle third, there’s hope for you yet. Read on…

Page discusses situations such as:

  • Who Responds First, And How Fast?
  • Move To Bcc (when to do it after introductions)
  • Providing Context (for the one doing the introduction)
  • Making Intros Mutually Beneficial

I really want you to take 5 minutes to read this one and then to bookmark it. You will definitely  want to refer to it again at some point in the future.

Page’s article could’ve been titled something along the lines of, “The Ultimate Guide to Getting B2B Email Right Every Time,” or, “The Only Primer For B2B Email Etiquette You’ll Ever Need” and the feature would’ve still been aptly named.

I say that because of its great attention to the details and nuances of so many of the most common situations we [attempt to] navigate on a daily basis.

Now, if you were in the middle third of people when you first began reading this story, and you have now clicked over to Page’s article and read it, where are you now?

Thank you for taking the time needed to put together this resource  for us, Bubba and Max. Keep writing, young men, keep writing…

QUESTION ::: What was the biggest email etiquette FAIL you’ve witnessed (by someone else, of course)? How have you learned from the mistakes of others?

Let’s talk about it…

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS :: MASTERMIND GROUPS & TEXT MESSAGING FOR SALES?

Strategy_Chalkboard_290_shadowThis week, I have some extremely useful resources, as always from some very credible sources, relating to strategies and tactics you can start using today to be more effective in your selling.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources, through my years of experience, to help you continue growing in your sales career:

STRATEGY :::

Harvard Business Review
Make Time for the Work That Matters
Although this article wasn’t written specifically for sales professionals, this piece by Julian Birkinshaw (@jbirkinshaw) and Jordan Cohen (@cohenjo) can certainly help you be more effective in your sales career.

The work that matters most for sales teams is selling time, and the work supporting your selling time, to make it as effective as possible.

Try out the interactive tool linked at the beginning of the article to get an idea of what you could consider dropping or outsourcing. There are a lot of excellent application opportunities for sales professionals in this resource.

AliceHeiman.com’s Blog
My Sales Secret – My Mastermind Group
Fresh off the plane returning from this week’s Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco (which SalesFitRx also attended), Alice Heiman (@aliceheiman) is apparently in on the business secret that may possibly be one of the single most important reasons I’ve been able to achieve what I have in my own sales career. It’s the developing and engaging in Mastermind groups.

Alice explains what they are, a bit about what this strategy has meant to great people in history and how you can create your own mastermind group.

Also, don’t miss the free, downloadable How To Create Your Ultimate Mastermind Team PDF file (linked near the end of the blog post).

TACTICS :::

Selling Power
Four Selling Skills You Need in the Social Age
Social Selling is a hot topic in the sales industry. Are you growing in this skill set? Kurt Shaver (@kurtshaver) efficiently and effectively leads us through four important selling skills in the age of social media.

JebBlount.com’s Blog
7 Keys to Using Text Messaging for Sales Prospecting
This certainly wasn’t an option during my first decades in sales, but it can definitely be helpful when you can align the right message to the right person at the right time on the right device. Jed Blount (@salesgravy) offers some great advice.

Don’t miss the section toward the end titled, “7 Keys to Structuring Effective Text Prospecting Messages.”

Attach.io
101 Sales Email Templates You Can Use Today to Close More Deals

Finally, this resource from @attachio is a good one to bookmark in your browser. Why start from scratch when you can modify a message that’s already written along the lines of what you want to accomplish?

Just make sure to modify each template enough so it doesn’t end up being too similar to other emails in the prospect’s inbox (in case others use this resource as well).

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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