If you are trying to sell in a B2B framework, you know that prospecting is a numbers game. Instead of making a few hundred calls every day and hitting upon 1 or 2 prospects ( at the best) business email addresses, sales professionals are leveraging social networks such as LinkedIn to microtarget and identify key decision makers.
Open the Relationship on Social Channels
Social networks are a treasure trove housing the database of your key decision makers. They are your “must contacts” — the people whom you would like to engage and to do business with. With LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other dominant social sites, you now have the opportunity to know them better.
As you look at their social profiles, you can put a face to the name you know and build out a fuller picture of them. As you explore, you lea more about their experience, expertise, achievements, and areas of interest. You can gather more social intelligence by observing who they are talking to and what questions they are asking.
This actually means that you have a great starting point to initiate a dialogue and tailoring your message so as to not sound “salesy.”
The Key to Contact Is a Business Email
Most executives access their business emails once in every few minutes. With the growing use of smart phones and tablets, they may be checking email continuously — even during their commute. It’s safe to say that nothing gets your prospect’s attention as much as a business email! You get their immediate attention and can move quickly to follow up with your next sales activity.
The Hunt Begins
The next step is to move the relationship along by acquiring their business email address. You probably use some other time-tested techniques such as sending LinkedIn connection requests, contacting via InMail, and reaching out through LinkedIn groups. The challenge, however, is the probability of your prospect responding to your outreach is pretty low. One of the main reasons for low response rate via these channels is that many of the social profiles are tagged to personal email addresses and are accessed mostly during weekends.
LinkedIn profiles or company website pages often don’t list emails, or only list the names and titles of the C-level decision makers. Online lists and directories are likely to display just a name, title, and company (with a corporate phone number at best). You need to go through a few silos before you hit the right person. One of the popular solutions for this challenge has been to purchase ready-made contact information lists, but the authenticity and freshness of the data may not be trustworthy.
Experimenting with Email Addresses
Here’s one way to connect to your prospect if you don’t have their business email or can’t find it:
Try this trial-and-error experiment. Create the ideal custom email for your contact, go to your email and Compose an email using a bcc list to all the permutations of their name and company name that you can think of. For instance:
If you know the organization’s email conventions, one of these has a good chance of being the actual email. You’ll know if a message gets through because you would not get an “undeliverable” message for the correct one! It is a bit unwieldy, and time consuming, but you can have success.
To recap, here are the steps to successfully target the decision makers you want to reach:
- Leverage social networks and microtarget specific people.
- Tailor your message for each prospect.
- Research and send your mail to business emails for optimal impact.
Since I work at eGrabber, naturally I think you may want to look into eGrabber’s simple and quick resource, eMail Prospector, to help with this! We uncover prospect emails from public sources like white papers, press releases, and management papers.