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Introduce Yourself to Prospective Customers via Email

By: William “Skip” Miller
Last updated 9/17/2012

William “Skip” Miller, author of Proactive Selling: Win the Sale (Second Edition), suggests you follow these rules when prospecting via emails:

1. Emails should be informative. What would catch the prospect’s eye? According to Miller, subject lines that are all about you and your company are ineffective, unless you are Apple, Google, or the president of the United States.

2. Emails should require the prospect to take some sort of action. Ask the prospect to click back, respond, or go to a different place on the Web. Having the prospect take action will get them started in the transfer of “ownership process,” says Miller.

3. Prospecting emails should be brief and extremely focused. Says Miller, “Such emails should contain no more than five paragraphs with no more than three sentences (short sentences, please) per paragraph. One of the paragraphs should have bullets, and there should be at least three bullets.

4. The subject line should arouse the prospect’s interest. For instance, if you are selling to a vice president of sales, the subject line should achieve one of the following:

  • Cause curiosity (“Look what happened in the last quarter").
  • Ask a question (“Are you tired of always being behind the hiring curve?”).
  • Provide new information (“The top 10 things VPs of sales are doing for the next year”).
  • Create a reference (“VPs of sales in consumer medical devices are speaking out”).
  • Provide a path (“The next step you need to take for a free trip…”).

Excerpted, with permission of the publisher, from ProActive Selling: Control the Process—Win the Sale by William “Skip” Miller (Second Edition). Copyright 2012, William “Skip” Miller. Published by AMACOM. For more information, http://www.amacombooks.org/

About the Author(s)

William "Skip: Miller is president of M3 Learning, a sales development company, and an instructor for numerous AMA sales management training seminars.