Selling business to business (B2B) through online tools can be extremely difficult. The internet if full of slimy scams that make you look bad when you are simply contacted by someone online, asking about their current services or products related to your business. The prospect wonders if you are simply a robot that sent this email out to a bazillion of prospects hoping that a sliver percent respond. Cutting through the spam clutter is difficult but possible using a few methods.
Personalize the Email & Offer Value
In my business of selling website services I come across a lot of ugly websites. This encourages me to reach out to the owner of the business in order to enquire about what on earth they are thinking?! A simple email is a great way to reach them and supplies basic information for them to consider. As long as you send them a personal email you won’t be marked automatically as spam. However, when the prospect receives the email they possibly will classify you in their own minds as spam. One way to assure them you are not spam is to start the email with a personalized message. “Hey Mike, I was in your restaurant eating last week–the meatloaf tasted awesome–and I noticed you needed [insert service]…”
It’s also important to take some time give them something they find valuable. If you sell business insurance, put some basic tips that are related to their business and how you see they are lacking. I generally put together an analysis video of their website so they can watch and learn a few quick tips about why their website isn’t functioning as they might think. Much of the information I give them they could do on their own.
This might seem like a lot of preparation simply to contact one prospect. At times this is true but it sure beats getting caught in a spam filter and never have a chance to begin with.
Follow Up With a Phone Call
Follow up to make sure they realize you are human. I generally send a follow up email after my initial email and if they don’t respond I give them a call on the phone. I can’t count the times I have called someone and asked, “Did you get a chance to review my email?” They then apologize because they thought I was spam. This gives them confidence to look through my email and consider the information.
Last Resort: Sent a Personalized Postcard
Many times I email a prospect and get no response. I send a follow up email–no response. I give them a call and get pushed to their voice mail again and again–no response. At this point I have put a lot of effort into contacting this person so I want to make sure I take every opportunity to let them know I am wanting to help them. The best last resort is to send a card in the mail. There are great services out there for this. The one I use is SendOutCards.com. You can do it all online and they make it simple. I generally send a postcard with a picture of their website on the front. This gets their attention when it comes with a stack of mail coupons and bills. Just yesterday I had a prospect (that I had already given up on) call me and say they got my postcard and apologized for not responding sooner.