Tips for reaching me

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I receive 10-20 cold calls or emails from salespeople every week and end up responding to very few of them. The calls and emails make me feel like I’m in a Samurai battle scene from the movies: for every warrior you slice down, a new one appears up over the horizon.

What sales people are asking for seems pretty reasonable: 15-30 minutes of my time for a phone call to learn about more about my business, present a demo, or to discuss the product’s features and benefits. 

Tempting, but… if I accepted all the inbound sales appointments I receive in a given week, I wouldn’t have any time to get my work done. I don’t even have enough time to read through the email. So, I end up either ignoring most inbound activity or replying with a simple “no thanks.”

I’m probably missing out on some good opportunities, so I decided to provide some quick tips for successfully reaching me:

1) Link to your website. I may not have time to jump on a quick call to learn more, but I do have 30 seconds to check out your website and figure out if you sell something I might be interested in. So put a link to your website somewhere in the first sentence or two.

2) Explain what problem you solve. Please mention in your email what problem you solve and try to explain it (briefly). I can’t tell you how many emails I get that don’t cover this basic point. I won’t respond if I don’t know what  problem your product solves. And since I’m not familiar with your product or your company, please be as specific as possible when describing how you solve the problem. Don’t just say you generate  B2B leads. Explain that you generate warm leads of targeted buyers who fill out a survey and indicate they plan to purchase HR solutions in the next 6 months.

3) Keep it short. Really short! 1-2 paragraphs max is a good size. I’m probably reading your email on my Nexus 5, so don’t make me have to scroll.  I know it’s tempting to try to stuff every feature and name brand  customer name into your email, but please resist the temptation to name everyone you work with (the only companies I care about are my direct competitors). Since I don’t know you, chances are I’m not going to invest a lot of time reading a long email. The shorter it is, the greater chance I’m going to read it. And please pass this advice along to the folks in your marketing department if they create the emails on your behalf.

4) Sales person contact info. If you’re just the appointment setter, please give me the contact information for the sales person so I can get my questions answered. 

5) Show me that you care about my success. The easiest way is by demonstrating that you care about my needs more than your own. So ask me what problems I am trying to solve rather than assume I need your product. i.e. if you sell a SaaS analytics product, ask me over email if I have any reporting/analytics challenges. 

In order for me to buy your product, I will need to figure out if it solves a business pain point that we have. So let’s start the relationship off on the right foot with my specific pain points in mind.

Sometimes I receive emails asking for meeting where the stated purpose is something along the lines of “so I can learn more about your business.” Whenever I see those emails, I want to roll my eyes. Why does someone in inside sales want to learn about a Fortune 500 enterprise recruiting solution? Maybe you find recruitment process outsourcing exciting, but what I take from your email is that all our conversations are going to be about your needs and not my success.

9 April 2014 ·

Human Connection Creates Stronger Businesses by @lkpetrolino

agsalesworks:

In the spirit of the holiday, we thought this was a great article to share. Stronger human connection= A stronger business! 

30 November 2013 ·

How B2B companies talk past their customers

24 October 2013 ·

"If you are working from your inbox, you are working on other people’s priorities"

~ Donald Rumsfeld (via fred-wilson)

13 June 2013 ·

Melissa has entered text.: Things I wish I knew when I was a waitress.

melissadahl:

1) Customers tend to leave higher tips on sunnier days.

2) Even if customers are in a windowless room and can’t see for themselves whether it’s sunny or not - if the server simply tells them it’s sunny outside, they were more likely to leave bigger tips.

3) If a server writes a fake “weather…

5 February 2013 ·

According to Twitter, my account might have been hacked along with 250,000 others (I have already reset my password).  Here’s a copy of the email I received. Why were only 250,000 of Twitter’s 100+ million accounts hacked? Apparently those affected by the hacking incident are the earliest Twitter users and something about those early accounts made them vulnerable. I joined in early 2007 and knew I was within the first million members to sign up. Now it seems like I was one of the first 250,000 members.

According to Twitter, my account might have been hacked along with 250,000 others (I have already reset my password).  Here’s a copy of the email I received. Why were only 250,000 of Twitter’s 100+ million accounts hacked? Apparently those affected by the hacking incident are the earliest Twitter users and something about those early accounts made them vulnerable. I joined in early 2007 and knew I was within the first million members to sign up. Now it seems like I was one of the first 250,000 members.

3 February 2013 ·

"We’ve come a long way. Today we understand that a startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. And that what we are doing when we iterate or pivot is that we are firing the plan before we start firing executives."

~

Steve Blank

Vision Vs. Hallucination - The Accelerators - WSJ

(via fred-wilson)

(via fred-wilson)

1 January 2013 ·

heyamberrae:

Learn, unlearn, relearn.

heyamberrae:

Learn, unlearn, relearn.

2 December 2012 ·

fred-wilson:

(via Twitter / levie: Scariest chart in the history …)

fred-wilson:

(via Twitter / levie: Scariest chart in the history …)

20 November 2012 ·

pietrelli:

The Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors
SEO may seem like alchemy to the uninitiated, but there is a science to it. Search engines reward pages with the right combination of ranking factors, or “signals.” SEO is about ensuring your content generates the right type of signals. The following chart summarizes the major factors to focus on for search engine ranking success.

pietrelli:

The Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors

SEO may seem like alchemy to the uninitiated, but there is a science to it. Search engines reward pages with the right combination of ranking factors, or “signals.” SEO is about ensuring your content generates the right type of signals. The following chart summarizes the major factors to focus on for search engine ranking success.

4 October 2012 ·

About Me

Marketing at the top of the funnel and some non sequiturs by Mark J. Feldman. I do Marketing & Demand Generation @ Backupify in Cambridge, MA. The views expressed are my own and do not reflect my current or previous employers. More about me at: http://about.me/markjfeldman

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