Six Sales Prospecting Email Templates to Open Doors
Yes, you read that correctly, these email templates will help you open doors and build relationships with new prospects. No, they will not work every single time but compared to the generic, “one size fits all” and overly salesy emails most sales reps send, I’m confident these will work far more effectively. In fact, for illustration, here is an example of how not to write a sales prospecting email. But you shouldn't just purely rely on the templates I have provided without first understanding how to write a prosecting email yourself.
Before I share my email templates however, I have few thoughts to share on email prospecting. For those of you who know me and/or follow my blog, you know that I DON’T believe cold calling is dead. I still believe that the phone is the best way to quickly demonstrate credibility, establish trust, qualify and build relationships. But for a variety of reasons sales people somewhere and somehow decided that spamming people with unsolicited emails would be a more effective way to prospect than phone prospecting. My theory however on why sales reps have soured on picking up the phone and replaced it with email prospecting:
- Email prospecting is quicker. Sending out an email blast is quick and efficient and it makes sales reps feel like they have accomplished something. Perhaps us sales peeps have become reliant-too reliant-on technology?
- Email prospecting is easier psychologically. With phone prospecting, only 10% of sales people follow up with a prospect three times (or more). Why so few? Sales reps get sick (or are afraid) of hearing rejection. But when an email goes unanswered what do sales reps do? They just send more email. Spam away right? While I would argue that an unreturned email is no different than hearing a dial tone, voice mail or getting routed to the gatekeeper, most sales people don’t really see it as rejection. But it is. While it may be easier for the sales person to take rejection in the form of an unanswered email (you don’t physically hear or feel anything) your prospect can also reject you without the feeling of guilt that comes from abruptly ending a phone call or hanging up.
- Reaching decision makers is difficult. Because most calls go into voice mail, sales reps feel phone prospecting is a waste of time so they rely on email. This is a fair point….but not really. When I was in my heyday as a sales rep pounding the phone (mid ‘90’s into the early 2000’s) I had to make 80-100 dials per day to get two to five decision makers on the phone. Those ratios have not really changed. What has changed however is sales teams have gone soft. I blame this on sales leaders, but that is for another day:)
So I’m not suggesting that you replace the phone with email but simply supplement your phone prospecting with email prospecting.
Sales Prospecting Email Templates
As you read through the email templates below I hope that you pick up on the common themes. First, as with making any sales call, email prospecting requires research and planning. Your email's must be personalized to your buyer persona. Second, in each email you will notice that I always reference something that I know about the prospect and/or his or her company. That is by design and must for all introductory emails (and cold calls)! Third, notice they are relatively short. In some cases they probably could or should be even shorter in length. Fourth, notice that I always close by trying to offer something of value for the prospect (I'm not asking them to comply with my self serving agenda). Finally, pay attention to how much "selling" I'm doing in these emails. I think you will find that the answer is very little to none. These emails are 100% focused on the prospect.
Introductory Email Template-Making Reference to a Trigger Event
The email below references a sales trigger event. If your read my blog on sales triggers you will see that there are dozens of triggers that you can reference and use in an introductory email (or phone call) for making an introduction with a prospect. This blog will share additional ideas on how to leverage sales triggers.
Introductory Email Template-I Have an Idea To Help You Solve Your Problem
In this scenario I was able to uncover a specific challenge that my prospect is trying to overcome. To build credibility I reference that I know what the challenge is and I offer value by letting them know I have some ideas to share based on my previous experience that could make an impact.
Introductory Email Template-I Have an Idea To Help You Achieve Your Goal
Similar to previous email template above, I demonstrate credibility by referencing that I understand a goal or objective the prospect is trying to achieve. I also add value by offering a small sampling of my value proposition to let the prospect know that my firm has experience in this area. This is designed to pique their interest without overwhelming them with the entire story (it would be too long for an email message).
Introductory Email Template-LinkedIn Invitation
This is a standard LinkedIn invitation. Remember, you're trying to build a long term relationship so there is no need for "trying to close for a meeting." Rome wasn't built in a day.
The Referral Email Template
As the name implies, you can use this when reaching out to a new contact through a referral. Notice in the email however that I include WHY the referee suggested that the prospect and I connect.
Introductory Email Template-Industry Challenge
This type of email template can be used for multiple customers within the same industry. For example, the pharmaceutical industry is regulated by the FDA. All pharmaceutical companies face the same challenges associated with meeting FDA and other regulations. You can reference that in an email and let them know you and your firm have the expertise to overcome these challenges.
If you're experiencing low response rates to your email messages than you might want to consider thinking before sending your next email. As you read through your email messages try to put yourself in the shoes of your prospect by asking yourself the following question: "is this sales person coming from a place where they're truly looking out for my best interest and trying to help me or are they pushing their self-serving message or agenda on me?" How does your email make you feel when you read it? The answer to those two questions will tell you a lot about the quality of your emails and why you may be getting a low response rate.
What do you find most challenging about email prospecting? Is it the introductory email? Follow up or lead nurturing emails? Let's start a conversation in the comments section below.
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.