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Effective Sales Messages
Blog / Sales Management / Oct 30, 2014 / Posted by Bruce Boyers / 5963

Effective Sales Messages

Are Your Sales Messages Tuned to the Right Frequency?

Editor”s Note: On October 2, 2014, AG Salesworks conducted a highly informative TwitterChat with noted sales author and consultant John Golden, Pipeliner CRM’s Chief Strategy Officer. The complete chat, entitled #ProspectingChat. We excerpted and summarized a collection of tips from this most enlightening sales chat on the overall topic of sales messaging, organized by category.

Learn and enjoy!

Using LinkedIn and Twitter for Prospecting

  • Search on a company page and then look at who works there. Pick out your target prospect, and check their activity on LinkedIn. That will tell you if it is a good channel to use.
  • See if they belong to (or are active in) LinkedIn Groups – a good way to build relevant engagement.
  • Check the company”s Twitter feed. Your prospect will likely be following their own company Tweets. Then check their activity.

Using Social Channels for Selling: Search, Listen, Share

  • Search: Do your homework, find where your target buyers are and focus your efforts there.
  • Listen: Read and absorb before speaking. Don’t jump in. “Typing too much is the new talking too much.” Your job during the Listen phase is to understand what prospects care about and what they are discussing.
  • Share: Once you understand what they care about, share content and insights of value to them. If you can bring valuable insights to your target buyer, it gives you credibility and you will earn the right to engage.

Best Practices to Optimize Email

While it may sound obvious, know your audience and what they care about. Researching your target buyer using social media will help you be more focused and targeted with your campaigns.

Provoke, Persuade, Propose

  • Provoke: Does the message provoke interest or simply lecture? Is it compelling?
  • Persuade: Does the message persuade action? Does it create a sense of urgency to act now?
  • Propose: Does it propose an Advance? Do you attempt to schedule an activity that will move the opportunity closer to a sale?
  • Is it short, memorable and easily digestible – can it be “scan read”?

Email Subject Lines

  • Steer clear of using “Re:” and “Fwd:” Don’t insert “Re:” (e.g., “Re: the last meeting”) when you’ve never met. Honesty and integrity will win out in the end.
  • MailChimp has great advice when it comes to subject lines: Don”t sell what”s inside, tell what”s inside.
  • Respect the intelligence of your audience.
  • Short and to the point is usually best.
  • “List titles” are good, (e.g.: “5 Reasons Why Your Email Subject Lines Don’t Work”)
  • Use a title that intrigues and that makes you want to know (e.g., “Do you know the 1st Rule of Communication?”)
  • Try something minimalist that will stand out in your email list subject lines, such as: “$ales 150%.” Or, try an experiment — Use the “$ales 150%” subject line, send it to yourself, and see if it stands out from your other emails.
  • Benefits talk. Usually, buyers care first about whether you have anything of value to say, not who you are.


With fines of up to $16,000, it is worth reading and understanding the CAN-SPAM Act!

  • As laws go it is pretty understandable. You can read it here. Basically, the law covers emails that contain “commercial content” which promotes a product or service. It requires you to identify who you are, where you are, not to be misleading, and provide an honor opt-out.
  • Best advice for beginners is to understand the law and when in doubt, DON”T!!!
  • Many companies mix email commercial content and other content. Make sure you understand that it is still covered by the Act.
  • CASL is the new Canadian law – here is the link. It covers many of the same things: who it is from, the recipients have explicitly or implicitly consented to receive emails, etc.
  • You should also be familiar with European laws.
  • It is good to check with the company you use for email. Providers like MailChimp have great compliance info on their sites.

Email Analytics Software

  • The ContactMonkey Gmail add-on tracks daily sales emails. If a prospect never opens the email, you can make informed decisions on where to invest time. Prospecting is always about focus, and as such you need to know if your emails are even getting noticed.
  • Yesware is another good tool. There are plenty to choose from–the key is how you use them. (As a company we use HubSpot to manage our outbound email communications. We use Pipeliner CRM to manage all our sales activity.)
  • It always comes back to where to invest your time. These tools all help qualify prospects in or out.

Inside Sales: Crafting Voice Messages

John Golden on his methods:

  • First and foremost, people don’t immediately care who you are or whom you work for.
  • Your voicemail message needs to start with something that will catch your prospect’s attention, such as: “People trust their own conclusions over anything others tell them. Does your current CRM help your salespeople draw their own conclusions about where to focus and what actions to take? Or do you have to spend all your time doing that for them?”
  • As you can see all I am doing is trying to connect with what the prospect cares about. I have intrigued by a factoid and posed a question that paints the desired state. Then I bring it back to a pain point.

Analyzing Voicemail for Effectiveness

  • Record yourself and listen back. Then ask yourself, “Would I call me back?” Also, have your manager listen – be open to coaching.
  • Stand up when you are leaving a voicemail. You sound different and more confident when you are standing. (This is an old trick, but a good one.)
  • Check the pace of your message. Don’t be too rushed, but also not too slow. Don’t sound like you are reading.
  • Above all, consider the tone: Do you sound happy, confident, excited to share your insights? Or do you sound like you would rather gouge your eyes out than make another prospecting call? If you don’t sound confident, interesting, and excited why would I want to talk to you?

Effective Calls to Action

  • Keep the call to action short and to the point.
  • Have the call to action in an email appear above the fold, early on for those “scan readers.”
  • Include only one call to action. We are already overwhelmed with choices. Don’t add to that.
  • Words that communicate urgency are always good – such as Now! Today! Creating a sense of urgency is one of the greatest skills a salesperson can have.
  • Be direct. Tell them what you want them to do.
  • Have the call to action reflect brand voice. For example, Pipeliner CRM is all about the visual so we would use “See for yourself.”
  • In the early stages “learn” might be a good CTA word because you are trying to educate them and be less pushy.
  • Instant gratification is always good. “Download free eBook” – I know I am getting something right now.

Thanks very much to AG Salesworks for hosting this chat. It was jam-packed with useful information about sales messaging, and of course thanks also to John Golden for his insights!

About Author

Bruce is a freelance writer and a 20+-year marketing veteran. During his career he has worked very closely with salespeople, achieved an understanding of how they can best be assisted by marketing, and gained a keen insight into the innate and singular abilities they demonstrate day in and day out.

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