Email prospecting can make us focus on numbers and not on relationships. Metrics are a fine sales tool, but relationship skills are what builds business, HubSpot reminds us in an article on this topic. Hubspot points out the common email prospecting mistake that salespeople make is copying and pasting the same content into yet another email and sending it without further thought.

How can we go back to building relationships through email prospecting?

  • Read the prospect’s content. Another Hubspot article explains the art of reading “30 articles in 30 minutes.” Researching your prospective customer is valuable. Having knowledge lets you approach them in a more personal way. Read a blog post or article that the prospect wrote, and react to it. Send an email saying you enjoyed their post and offer your services as a gentle suggestion for what they might be looking for.
  • Don’t limit the customer’s options for response.  Imagine Business Development’s article on B2B prospecting advises: “When prospecting, it’s important to enable your prospect to move forward in whatever means they prefer. If the only options are to call you or respond to your email, you’ll lose a lot of opportunities.” A prospect might hesitate to make a connection with you, especially when they are not familiar with your company or what you do. Imagine Business Development emphasizes the importance of including links to content that you have published that align with what you’re selling.

Recipients appreciate short, concise emails

  • Keep your email short and sweet.  KLA Group suggests emails with no more than 175 words and no more than three paragraphs. Remember: Your prospect is flooded with emails and busy.
  • Coming off the short and sweet point, keep the question simple, and limit yourself to one question. Tropical reminds us that it can be overwhelming when we receive an email with multiple questions.
  • And finally, avoid trite subjects and introductions when email prospecting. For example, avoid the email subject “Good Afternoon” or opening your email with “Hi, my name is…” Those will almost certainly be deleted. It’s also important to make sure that your email doesn’t end up in your prospect’s spam filter. Check out HubSpot’s list of email spam trigger words here.

In summary, the most important thing you can do when starting a relationship with a prospect is to be personable, helpful, and straightforward — but not pushy.

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