Hooking a Prospect

November 4, 2020

The main goal for any sales development team is to generate demand. To achieve this goal, an SDR must understand that there’s a fine line between giving a prospect too much information and not enough information.

Long messages, while encapsulating all pertinent information, typically don’t spark interest from prospects and thus are likely to be discarded. Shorter messages tend to be more effective, but it can be challenging to fit the necessary information in a quicker message.

The struggle here is finding that perfect length, in both voicemail and email, to hook a prospect from the start and keep them interested throughout the process.

Keep Messaging Short by Consolidating Important Information

It’s been well documented that the attention spans of most people are not equipped to deal with long-winded messages about product features. Tomasz Tunguz, a content marketing professional, has found that on average you have 48 seconds to effectively deliver your message to a prospect before they lose interest. If you can fit an introduction, value proposition, and call to action into those 48 seconds you’ll have a better chance of keeping a prospect on the phone after that.

Follow a Formula

At demandDrive we utilize specific methodology when constructing prospecting emails and voicemails. This process optimizes what little time we have to effectively engage prospects. They open with a quick introduction, answer why we are calling, give the prospect a value proposition, set up a call to action, and then we close it. It takes a lot of practice to pack this information into a small time-frame, so the more activities you log the better. The only way you can effectively deliver all of that in such a short time period is with a few hiccups along the way — practice makes perfect.

Don’t Let Your Messages Get Stale

Don’t let your messages become stale and repetitive. SDRs should be continually updating the context of their voicemails and emails. At demandDrive we’ve learned that even the most effective outbound messages aren’t immortal and need consistent retooling. Through your various conversations, you’ll find out what pieces are crucial and need to stay, and what pieces can be cut out. Every call is situational, so it’s important to keep on your toes and work off-script.

The same can be said for our emails. It’s an instant turn off if a prospect opens up an email and sees paragraphs of text. Their first thought goes from “I wonder what this is about” to “I don’t want to have to read this whole thing.” So they don’t. Most of the time they’ll just skim through the message, which means they could miss valuable pieces of content. By cutting down the fluff about the product features and instead simply showing them the value that it can bring you will accomplish two things. Firstly you deliver a message that is concise and easily digestible, and secondly, you give your prospect pertinent information with a strong call to action. Prospects respect short messages and we’ve seen a lot of success with them, it lets them know that you value their time.

Make it Personal

And how do you go about cutting down a product sheets worth of information into something the prospect can digest? Personalize it! Do a little research and you’re likely to find some interesting info on the prospect or account. From there, go with the value prop most relevant to the prospects’ situation. A lot of this can be done just by looking at their title. For example, if they’re a C-Level executive, ROI numbers and financial benefits will resonate better, whereas a prospect in a role that would manage your product on a daily basis will be much more interested in the features and capabilities of the product itself. By defining the roles you reach out to you can personalize the value prop so that it has the best chance at resonating with the prospect.

Being concise and informative is the best way to get a prospect on the line, and that’s a trend that should continue when you have them live. A drawn-out explanation of your product and why you’re calling will make a prospect reluctant to stay on the phone with you. Keep the bits of information short and relevant, and let the prospect have a turn to speak. By asking a lot of questions in between the snippets of information it keeps the prospect engaged while providing value for your client and product. The point is this: Minimize the time you spend explaining your product and instead pack that short time with value propositions and open-ended questions. It will benefit you and the prospect in greater ways than information dumping ever could.

alex ellison

Alex Ellison is the Marketing Communications Manager at demandDrive. He started his career as an SDR before discovering a passion for creating content and resources that drew him towards marketing. In his current role he primarily works behind the scenes drafting, editing, and developing a wide variety of marketing materials and educational resources. He is also currently enrolled at the University of Washington pursuing a Masters in Communication Leadership with a focus on Digital Media.
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