Time to read: 3 minutes. Frustrated with LinkedIn InMail prospecting? Emails going un-responded to? I recently discovered how to write an effective InMail. You know, messages that get response. I’ll share how to provoke potential buyers to reply—by writing in a specific way. This gives you a response and the chance to qualify them. Here’s the technique and a few templates to get more response.
I’m serious. When prospecting using email or InMail, don’t ask for an appointment. Be careful. Don’t lose track of the more important, basic goal: Earning permission to start a dialogue. Especially if you’re selling something a potential buyer doesn’t know they need—yet. Or if you’re selling a service that requires a longer sales-cycle, consulting or education to “prime” the customer to buy.
It seems obvious but in practice we often veer away from this goal. Sometimes within the first few sentences of the email! We say too much, too fast to the prospect.
This clouds the request for permission.
So here’s how to write the most effective InMail template for sales introductions. Actually, it’s more like a formula than cut-and-paste template. Will it work for you, in your setting? Yes. Because it’s built for flexibility.
I was inspired by Greg Ciotti when creating this approach.
Greg says, “If there is one thing that busy people value above all else, it’s brevity.”
It’s a common sense, effective template: Being brief, blunt and basic. Yet few of us practice it. And that’s a huge mistake. Because buyers scan their inboxes the same way. No exceptions. They want to know:
By addressing this reality directly you’ll get yourself noticed (opened) and responded to more often.
If you’d like a more specific template here are 7 effective InMail templates for sales.
Or if subject lines are what you’re after here are 3 of the best email subject lines I’ve found.
This approach provokes response because it mixes cold-call best practices with effective copywriting. This technique gives you an effective, repeatable way to get buyers:
By earning affirmation or an inquiry you’ll get response plus details about the prospect.
You’ll discover when they prospect will be ready for an appointment. Or you might uncover who is on the decision-making team, or what stage of decision-making they’re in.
You’ll get all of this if you’re brief, blunt and basic. Be quick, get to the point and don’t confuse them.
The goal of email prospecting—whether it’s using LinkedIn InMail or standard email—is not to get a meeting. It’s to provoke a potential buyer to ask, “Can you tell me more about that?”
When you begin by trying to get an appointment you are being rejected by 90% to 97% of perfectly good prospects. So says Sharon Drew Morgen, inventor of the Buying Facilitation method. And she’s got 20 years of experience to back up the statement.
Here’s the rub: Most buyers don’t know what they need when you email them. Or they do have a need but aren’t ready to buy yet. Other buyers have not assembled the decision-making team, yet.
Don’t miss out on the appointment by asking for it too early! Get in the game first. This is a LinkedIn InMail best practice. This also works on standard email too.
If you’re not getting response, you’re probably not keeping it brief, blunt and basic. Use the template as a checklist. Make sure each email you draft passes the 3B’s test before you press send. If you’d like a more specific template here are 7 effective InMail templates for sales.
Be careful to not ask for too much, too fast. For example, refrain from:
Don’t forget to:
Use words to provoke a, “Can you tell me more?” from a potential buyer. Use the chance to push on a pain—or surface an unknown fact the prospect needs to know about (before they can make an informed decision).
Remember: The goal is to get on the radar of your decision-maker(s) by asking for permission to facilitate a conversation—not discuss need.
Questions about this technique? Interested in attending an online clinic where I improve your email message to earn more response? Just ask. Send me an email or get in touch via comments below.
Photo credit: Sebastian Wiertz
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe.
Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.