Learning From Bad Prospecting

by | Aug 13, 2021 | Dealmakers

I’m not trying to make fun of anyone, nor am I trying to be mean spirited. Please know that.

It’s just that we can learn so much about prospecting from bad examples of real prospecting attempts. That leads us to an email I received recently:

Hi Jeff:

I don’t enjoy doing this as much as you don’t enjoy receiving this. But I am banking on the possibility that you have salespeople in your organization that are tasked with doing the same thing…..reaching out, unsolicited, to prospects because your company truly believes that they can HELP others with your products and services.

In summary, we are an omni-channel communications company that is an industry leader in print/digital critical marketing communications. We specialize in providing personalized communications, kitting and fulfillment. We reduce costs while boosting ROI and effectiveness.

If any of my message has resonated with you, I would like to see if we can find 20 minutes on the calendar this week or next to learn more about one another’s organization. If you are not the proper contact for this, I would appreciate it if you could pass this note along to the proper party. Thank you so much for your time and consideration and I look forward to chatting soon. Have a great day!



Okay, let’s break it down. What’s wrong with this prospecting email?

  1. The first paragraph is a gimmick. I believe the first paragraph of a prospecting email needs to figuratively smack someone in the face, hitting them right between the eyes. The best way of doing that is not with some half-funny joke about the misery of getting prospecting emails, rather you do it by focusing on something that’s of value to the recipient.
  2. The second paragraph is a book report of what the sales rep’s company does. It’s made even worse because it’s full of “corporate” sounding words. Whenever a prospect reads sales clichés like “boosting ROI,” “omni-channel communications company” and “industry leader,” they know it’s a sales message completely devoid of value.
  3. In the third paragraph, the sales rep wants to meet with me if any of his message “has resonated with” me. Well, it did NOT resonate with me. Of course, it didn’t resonate with me. Why would it? There was absolutely nothing in the message that was about me. Nothing in the message focused on my pain, problems, goals or dreams. Nothing in the message was customized to my unique circumstances.
  4. Remember, when you write prospecting messages, use insights that resonate with the prospect. The first priority is to come up with a compelling piece of value that is of interest to the recipient. If you can make that piece of value focus on a pain, struggle or threat, it’s even better.

Next, we talk about what you can do for the prospect to make things better, but you don’t do it by listing features and benefits of your listing, representation services or your company.

Prospecting is never about the broker; it’s always about the prospect. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to win a new client in the first place or trying to move a property you have listed. It’s not about you. Brokers who remember that are the ones who do a lot of deals and sit atop the company leader board.

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.