A Different Prospecting Critique

by | Sep 4, 2021 | Dealmakers

A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article critiquing one of the many bad prospecting emails I had received. I heard so much positive feedback from readers that I decided to evaluate another email for you this week.

Like you, I receive tons of prospecting emails. Probably unlike you, I save them. I literally have an email folder titled “Bad Email Examples.” You could say I’m a connoisseur of crappy emails.

I didn’t have to scroll very far in my Bad Email Examples folder to find this little gem.

A little background first – I run a program known as the Sales Leader Mastermind. Eight chief sales officers from non-competing companies meet with me on a regular basis. I take them through a year-long program, and as a group, we find ways to make each of them more successful. I advertise the mastermind on my website, and apparently, some enterprising sales pro noticed it.

Here’s what he said…

Hey Jeff, I came across The Sales Leader Mastermind Group and saw you are inclined with the coaching and consulting space.

Here’s the bad news, this is an unsolicited email, but the good news is I think you’ll actually benefit from this.

Being that I’m from Fort Lauderdale thought I’d go ahead and reach out to you with an idea I think you’d want to hear about.

My company Jeff Beals & Associates helps Coaches and Consultants like you generate NEW high-ticket clients to add an additional 400k in bottom line revenue through booked qualified appointments while being extremely capital efficient through email, Linkedin and multiple channels.

With it being more difficult than ever to gain clients for most, staying up to date with how to efficiently reach your potential market is changing rapidly every single day. We offer outbound strategies and systems that most businesses are not doing to get the attention needed to make the impact and produce ongoing results consistently. I know working with us we will be able to help you access those clients faster and at scale for The Sales Leader Mastermind Group.

Curious if you’re open to hearing what I had in mind? I’ll shoot over a short recorded video if so.

Thanks & hope your week is going great!

[NAME]

Okay, let’s just jump into the evaluation:

  1. Someone probably told this guy he needs to conduct pre-prospecting research and customize/personalize his emails. That is indeed good advice. But personalizing a prospecting message does NOT mean that you quickly go to the prospect’s website and copy/paste the first thing you see. That’s especially true if the thing you copy-and-paste is out of context vis-à-vis the rest of your message.

  2. The second paragraph is not only gimmicky, it’s a waste of time and space. Why write something that cheapens your prospecting message if it’s not necessary to do so?

  3. Why does he mention he’s from Fort Lauderdale? I don’t live there, nor am I from there, so it doesn’t pertain to me in any way. I suspect, he used that language in a message to a different prospect who was located in Fort Lauderdale and forgot to remove it from the message he sent me. If so, that’s sloppy. If not, it makes no sense.

  4. The next paragraph (starting with “My company Jeff Beals & Associates helps…”) is a common feature of bad prospecting emails. Conventional wisdom says there needs to be a part of every prospecting message where you tell the reader who you are and what you do. Conventional wisdom is not always correct. While it may seem counterintuitive, you do NOT want to say what you do in a prospecting message.

    Instead, focus on something that you believe is valuable to the prospect or something that is causing pain, frustration or anxiety for the prospect. Then you talk about ways you can address that by providing free value. The goal is to get a live, interactive conversation or meeting with the prospect. Sales pros can talk about what they do during the meeting, not during the prospecting stage.

  5. See number four above. The next paragraph is more of the same except the writer copied-and-pasted “The Sales Leader Mastermind Group” in a vain attempt to impress me with his personalization efforts.

  6. The next part of the email is so deliciously awful, it’s almost too good to be true. Does he really offer to “shoot over a short, recorded video” if I’m interested? As a sales consultant, that leaves me nearly speechless. Prospecting should be interactive, especially if someone is interested enough to watch a video. The goal of cold prospecting efforts (like this email) is to get a live, interactive meeting or conversation. Recorded vides are not the best way to do that.

  7. One last thing before we go – the grammar and proof-reading police would probably arrest this guy.

As I said in the similar article two weeks ago, I’m not trying to be mean or make fun of anyone. It’s just that we can learn so much by studying what people do wrong. While the email above is more flawed than most I receive, it’s nevertheless indicative of what too many brokers consider to be standard prospecting practice.

Jeff Beals helps you find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. He is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He delivers compelling speeches and sales-training workshops worldwide. He has spoken in 6 countries and 41 states. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.

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