Texting can be a powerful tool for sales prospecting — a text message feels like a personal communication but provides the comfortable distance and flexibility of email. When used correctly, texting can put prospects at ease and get you in the door for a deeper sales conversation.
Advantages of Texting
Chances are that your prospects are bombarded with hundreds of messages each day through a variety of communication channels. Texting has the advantage of immediacy: a text message appears instantly on a contact's phone screen, so it's harder to ignore than an email or voicemail. Responding to a text is fast and easy — an attractive option for busy professionals. Plus, since texts aren't intimidating, they can make prospects feel more comfortable engaging with you.
Prepare the Way
Texting has an inherent casual feeling, so it can be jarring when used as a standalone method of sales prospecting. If you want to text potential prospects, do so only after you have already established contact. Have you spoken to the person on the phone or exchanged emails? If so, a text message can build on that connection and create a sense of familiarity. If not, take time to introduce yourself through another channel. Then, use a text to continue the conversation in a more relaxed manner.
During a busy workday, a phone call can be an unwelcome interruption. It forces a contact to stop what he's doing, decide whether or not to take the call and formulate a response on the spot. If the person isn't in the right frame of mind, you are unlikely to get far with a prospecting conversation. If you sense that a contact doesn't like talking on the phone, or if you're having a hard time getting through, a text message can be a useful alternative. Texts are less demanding, so they automatically reduce the burden on the other person. He can wait to respond until he's available and interested, which makes it easier to engage in a meaningful discussion.
The content of a prospecting text message can make or break the conversation. Start by introducing yourself, making sure to include your first and last names to avoid confusion. Keep the message short and to the point. Choose a topic that relates to the person's needs or pain point: give your value proposition, introduce a specific product or provide a call to action. If it reinforces your message, attach a clear, powerful photo. Watch your phone's auto-correct function and proofread carefully before you hit the send button — a single typo can sabotage your message.
Used professionally, a text message can be a compelling and convenient prospecting tool. By planning your texting strategy and using the messages as part of a larger sales strategy, you can save time and bring in more clients.
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