February 29 crops up every four years, but what is a leap year? Some say it’s down to the solar system’s disparity with the Gregorian calendar. I say it’s any year when you decided to take massive action. When you decide that your life, your business, your sport…whatever is not going to be constrained. You are going to make a huge advance – one that is going to stick and provide dividends for ever!
During the month my team and I have had a number of conversations with various clients about how to make more sales. One approach stood out head and shoulders above all others.
Never reduce targets, ALWAYS be adding value.
You see salespeople have more information than ever before, but so do buyers. And it’s easier than ever for buyers to take their business elsewhere in the blink of an eye. So how can salespeople get prospects to talk to them?
Welcome to the age of Always Be Helping, where the most successful salespeople act like consultants – not sellers. Buyers can easily compare pricing and feature lists themselves – what they need is a passionate sales expert to show them how all that come together into a solution for their needs. Make sure you’re providing value from day one. And this means real, objective value.
Email forms a fundamental part of this value equation however the “just checking in” sales email isn’t just ineffective – it’s also selfish.
People who send these types of emails aren’t offering any value. They’re trying to force or persuade buyers into replying to their message and making a purchase on their preferred timeline. In today’s sales world, providing value to a customer throughout their individual buying process is the only way to close a deal. Hard selling tactics are bad for the buyer, and bad for the seller.
Modern salespeople must be committed to providing guidance, information, and value to buyers whenever they reach out. They know it’s important the prospect sees just as much return on their time as the salesperson does.
Here are six easy ideas as to how you can provide value with each sales email you send.
1) Attach a piece of content.
The easiest way to provide value to a buyer in a sales email is to include a piece of helpful content. Remember: The goal of an initial sales email is to not try to convert a buyer into a customer instantly, but to give them something that will truly interest them, and get a conversation going.
Spend some time researching the prospect’s company and observing their behaviour on social media. Use this knowledge to offer a piece of content specific enough to their interests that they take the time to read it.
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Subject line: a resource for you
Saw you sent out a tweet about [subject] and thought I’d pass along this blog post. It talks a lot about that subject, and provides some interesting takes and opinions. I would love to hear what you think about it.
All the best,
2) Reference a mutual connection.
Having a mutual connection in common with a buyer can go a long way. In fact, a prospect is five times more likely to engage with a seller when they share a connection. This is the absolute standout winner in our business. If you do nothing else then do this one!
Creating a common connection is valuable to the buyer because it fosters trust. The buyer can now check with that mutual connection and determine whether or not this is the right product or service for them.
Subject line: so I ran into Carol yesterday
I know you’ve been doing your research, so I thought I’d put you in touch with someone we both know. [Mutual connection] and I have known each other for a while, and it turns out you know each other too.
Maybe all three of us can get together some time. Talk to you soon.
All the best,
3) Offer a customer review.
Simply put, customers love reviews. How often do you check out TripAdvisor before you make a decision on where to stay? How deep in the reviews do you go? I know I scan for a while, and I’m willing to bet you do too.
Learning what other people are saying about a product or service plays an important role in buying decisions. In fact, 88% of people take online reviews as seriously as they do personal recommendations, according to a study from Bright Local.
It’s clear that reviews are valuable for prospects, so why not send one along in your next email?
Subject line: the people have spoken
I spent the weekend thinking about your business, and came across some great reviews on what we’ve been talking about. I know you’ve been trying to solve [pain point] so I’m sending you these links to help you gather some more info about what other people think about how we helped them with [pain point]
- Link 1 to your reviews
- Link 2 to your reviews
- Link 3 to your reviews
In these reviews, customers go into depth about how the product works and what they think of it. They’re honest, real, and I think you’ll appreciate them.
If you have any other questions, let me know. Talk to you soon.
4) Send over a case study.
A case study can add instant value to a sales email. If the prospect is unsure how to proceed, sharing a story about a customer in a similar situation that describes how you solved their problem can be incredibly helpful.
Subject line: I’ve seen this before
It’s funny, but after talking with you this last week I remembered that one of our customers was actually in the same situation you are in now. They were being successful, grabbing increased market share, but they were having problems with [pain point].
I attached their story to this email. It’s an interesting read, and I think it will provide a wealth of insight into how exactly they we helped them became one of the leaders in their market. Would love your feedback on it.
All the best,
5) Provide a tactical suggestion.
If you notice an area of weakness in the buyer’s business that you think you can help improve, let the prospect know. Offering insights not only strengthens your relationship, but it builds your credibility in their eyes.
Subject line: have you tried doing this…
I was on your website earlier, all your data capture is below the fold. I was wondering if you have ever tried fixing your data capture at the top of all your pages. It’s a really simple way to help boost the number of new conversions and really build your list.
Here are a few examples of web sites that use this technique:
- Example 1
- Example 2
- Example 3
If you’re not sure what I mean, just give me a shout. Great offer this month, by the way. I just shared it. Let’s connect soon.
All the best,
6) Just respond.
Simply responding to a question, voicemail, tweet, or email is the easiest way of all to provide value. And keep in mind that you don’t have to give the final answer right away. A simple “I’m looking into this for you” will assure the prospect that you’re on the case.
The value of responding quickly extends beyond solving specific problems. According to Sprout Social, 26% of customers who don’t hear back from a company take to social media to post negative comments. Remember the importance of good reviews? Responding quickly plays a major role in prospects’ perception of your business.
Subject line: thanks for the question!
Thanks for getting in touch. That’s a great question, and I’m glad you asked. I’m in the middle of a few meetings this morning, but I’ve sent your question along to my team (cc’d on this email). They’ll be able to help, and I’ll follow up with you at the end of the day.
Thanks again! If anything else comes up, please let me know.
All the best,
As author Michael Port recently wrote, “Give away so much value that you think you’ve given too much — and then give more.”
Salespeople need to understand that the modern buyer is busy and doesn’t have time for “just checking in” emails. Strive to offer buyers an instant ROI with each and every message you send.