Identifying What Does & Does Not Work in Prospecting Emails

by | Oct 2, 2020 | Dealmakers

Today we’re going to improve your email prospecting skills by looking at a real-life example.

By the way, not all of my clients are commercial real estate companies. I work with other industries too. One of my clients, the VP of sales at a staffing company, asked my opinion on a prospecting email one of his sales reps was planning to send. I’ll be honest with you; it needed a lot of work. Take a moment and read through it:

Hey [Contact Name],

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a million times over; “You staffing agencies are all the same”! Well, guess what? You’re absolutely right! All staffing agencies are the same, and I would also be willing to bet that you have probably never heard any staffing professional openly admit that. With over 8 years of industry experience personally, I’m here to tell you that there is no “Secret Sauce” in the way agencies recruit. There’s no patented technology that promises to deliver 100% positive results placement, after placement, after placement. There’s no proprietary information or CRM software that only certain agencies are allowed to use and not the rest of the industry. No ma’am, none of that!

However, there are 4 things that [COMPANY NAME] offers that sets us apart from our competitors and many of our current clients see the value with partnering with [COMPANY NAME] for all of their staffing needs. Now, I will tell you that 1 of the advantages we possess is that we are a family owned business that has operated within the staffing industry for the past 35 years, and because of this, we operate on low overhead costs and pass these savings on directly to our clients in the form of the most aggressive pricing structures in the local market today.

There are a few other advantages that I would love to discuss with you in more detail this week or next regarding the benefits of our service. Please let me know what day(s)/time(s) would be the most convenient for you, and I will be more than happy to accommodate your schedule. What do you have to lose? Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

I look forward to meeting with you soon!

Okay, now it’s time to assess this email. I liked the angle he was trying to take in order to catch attention. After all, the main purpose of prospecting communication is to stand out from all the other solicitations your prospects receive each day, catch their attention and inspire them to schedule a live conversation with you.

But the execution was lacking. Here are the problems I see:

  1. It’s too long, unnecessarily wordy and has a lot of typos.
  2. He wrote about his industry experience in the first paragraph and then talked about features and benefits of his company in paragraph two. At the prospecting stage, we don’t talk about ourselves. Prospects couldn’t care less about you and your company until they are intrigued by you and your company. That happens later. At the prospecting stage, we have to make it about them.
  3. In order to increase the likelihood that a prospecting message will get you an appointment, there needs to be a compelling, mysterious component of the email. That’s lacking in this example.

As my client requested, I rewrote his email in accordance with the proven principles of email prospecting. As you read the rewrite below, concentrate on everything that is different:

Hi [Contact Name],

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “You staffing agencies are all the same!” Well, guess what? You’re right!

I’d be willing to bet you never heard any staffing professional openly admit that. There’s no “secret sauce” in the way agencies recruit. There’s no patented technology that promises 100% positive results placement after placement. There’s no proprietary information or software that only certain agencies are allowed to use.

However, there are four things that set the most elite staffing agencies apart from their competitors, and the list might surprise you. I would be happy to share these things with you, and even if we never work together, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the how the staffing industry really works.

Let me know what day/time would be the most convenient for you, and I’ll accommodate your schedule.

I look forward to talking soon!

Other than shortening the email and cleaning up a bunch of editing issues, here are the major changes:

1. The third paragraph creates that compelling mystery I was talking about (the list that you can only get from him and the deeper understanding of what the staffing world is like behind closed doors). Plus, this paragraph is no longer focusing on features and benefits that are meaningless and irrelevant to the reader.

2. The third paragraph has an escape clause. I call it the “pressure relief valve” that lowers the barriers and makes the email writer seem less imposing. That clause is “even if we never work together.” I find this clause to be quite effective, so I put it in many of my prospecting emails.

3. I took out some language that makes the writer come across as not terribly confident.

Now, there’s no guarantee that this rewritten email will lead to a live conversation with the prospect. Research shows that it takes an average of 10 prospecting attempts to get a live conversation with a decision maker at a cold prospect company. However, the better each email is, the better your odds of landing meetings with the most desirable prospects.

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.