I am definitely not a fan of cold-calling. But, when necessary, I certainly understand the need and make recommendations all the time on how to do it in a smart, thoughtful way. Today I received not one, but three cold-calling emails from a woman, we’ll call her Lynda. Lynda sent me the exact same message three times addressed to different people. We’ve all had software glitches, but still. That seems rather silly. Then, her message was badly written – sentence structure was off, grammar wasn’t correct, and there were spelling errors. The best part? She’s a competitor! So this woman reached out to me to offer me the same services I offer others and did it extremely poorly! Okay, great for the ego I will tell you, but depressing for the industry.
So what’s the point? First, PLEASE review your mailing lists and see who you are sending messages. And have a “why” you are sending them a message. Have someone on a list but don’t know why? Off they do. If they miss your messages, they will call. It is even better if the person knows how they got on your list in the first place. If you’ve had a conversation or met at a trade show (AND INFORMATION WAS REQUESTED), have that note somewhere easy to find so you know why they are on the list. One thing I’ve started doing is when I meet someone at a yearly event, after sending my “nice to have met you” emails I put a calendar reminder in around the time we would sign up again. That way I can send them a note and ask if I will see them at the show again. Makes a person really feel special!
Next, have your messages proof-read. There is very little that is more distracting than a bad sales message. I can’t tell you how often people will get caught up in how something is written vs. what it says.
Finally, understand the tools you are using. If it is something new, contact a few close associates and test it on them first. Include yourself in any batch item sent so you can see what happens. That way if there is a problem, you’ll be able to send a correction right away. Most people can understand technical difficulties but when there is no explanation, they assume you don’t know what you are doing.
So be thoughtful about your contacts and messages. Without that, you give the absolute wrong impression.