Avoiding the 29% Club – Part 1: The Ability to Engage
It has been researched to the fifteenth decimal point. Millions of dollars have been budgeted trying to figure it out. In this age of all things digital, it is a strategic imperative for effective business communications, but most sales people do an awful job at it.
What’s the “it”? The ability to engage a potential customer via email. Giving them a nugget of info in the subject line that piques their interest enough to read further. Something that they won’t ignore, delete, or file before opening.
Here’s a clue as to what it should NOT be about: You. Or your company. Or your service. It should be about the person you’re writing to. And they have gotten a bit crafty at filtering out unwanted communications. If it’s not about them or someone they know, your email will be deleted or ignored and you won’t connect – making you a member of the 29% Club. As a member, you reveal three things about yourself to potential clients:
- You do not know them
- You do not have a direct referral to them
- You are guessing at what that customer needs
According to a recent study conducted by a TechCXO client in the printing vertical, 71% of the time buyers already knew someone who provided the service/product they needed – or could get a direct referral from someone in their networks. Likewise, before any RFQs, I/Ps, buying process or decision timeframe is established, a buyer begins his research on where he can get reliable intel on his project needs. Demonstrating that you’re a member of the 71% Club can successfully start a conversation. In other words, you need to:
- Know your client
- Get a direct referral to them
- Understand their pain
That brings us back to the email subject line. The time-proven technique to get a buyer’s attention is a name — the name of someone they know and trust who has referred you for a brief, introductory conversation. You already have, or have access to, those names. Mining your contacts and conducting a little research into published information about your prospect, will result in a network of data dots that, when properly connected, will lead to a must-read subject line. Getting good at it qualifies you for the 71% club.
Chris Pariseau is a Sales, Strategy & Marketing Partner for TechCXO in Atlanta. He is a firm SME on prospecting. See his full bio here.