Prospecting Via Text Messages

by | Nov 10, 2023 | Prospecting

Have you ever received a text message like this?

Hi Jeff! I’m Calvin with XYZ. We offer tailored consulting-focused medical insurance plans with competitive rates and nationwide coverage during open enrollment. Would you like a quick quote?

Or how about this?

Hello Jeff. This is Elijah from ABC Bookkeeping. We’re an online bookkeeping service starting as low as $109 per month. Can I call you to explain details?

Or even one like this?

Greetings Jeff. I know that technology integration is a concern for your industry. Our latest product addresses this directly, providing tools and platforms for sales trainers. Interested in a demo to see how it can streamline your processes?

I bet you receive text messages like these on a regular basis. Do they work? Would you respond if you received one of these text messages?

I suspect not.

And the reason you wouldn’t respond is because they’re “spammy.” They come from unknown senders when you’re not expecting them and they provide little to no value to the recipient.

As a commercial real estate broker, you work in a B2B selling environment. Your prospects are sophisticated decision makers who purchase expensive things; they buy and lease property.

Spammy prospecting messages sent to B2B prospects simply do not work.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no place for text messages in your prospecting efforts. The key is to use text messages properly and at the right time. Text messaging can be a powerful brokerage tool.

As a general rule, do not use text messages the first time your reach out to a cold prospect. People have become conditioned to consider unsolicited texts from strangers as spam. It now takes an average of 10 attempts to reach a decision maker at a cold prospect company. Your first attempt is most likely going to be a phone call or email. Since there’s a high likelihood you won’t reach the prospect that first time, you’ll have plenty of additional opportunities.

Here are instances where it DOES make sense use text messages in prospecting.

1. Later in the Prospecting Cadence

Your “cadence” is the frequency, order and channel of your messages to any given prospect. We already established that you generally should not use text messages at the beginning of your cadence. Texts do have higher levels of effectiveness late in the process after the prospect has received emails and voicemails from you.

2. After a First Conversation

Once you have had a live interactive conversation with a prospect, texting becomes a very effective way of communicating with them. In fact, it may be the most effective channel for some prospects. Busy decision makers tend to respond to texts quicker than emails or voicemails.

3. After a Networking Event

If your first interaction with a prospect occurs at a networking event, it is fine to follow up with a text message. If you had a meaningful conversation during the event, the prospect will likely remember your name. Speed is the key. Send that text the next day. Don’t wait a week or two.

4. After Something Significant

If the prospect does know your name, or you have had at least one live conversation, it can be effective to text the prospect after a significant event. You could send a congratulatory text if the prospect’s company expands, wins an award, hires a new person, etc. The event is an “excuse” to reach out and schedule a meeting.

Experience and research tell me that, in most cases, telephone calls remain the most effective prospecting communication channel to reach cold decision makers when you factor the time and money invested and results delivered. However, in the right situations, text messages are even more effective than calls. Good timing is key.

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.