Maintaining consistent contact with your clients is of utmost importance to salespeople. Not only will you build rapport during the sale, but it'll help you keep the relationship alive after you've closed as well.
While you may be accustomed to connecting with prospects by phone, email, and even LinkedIn and Twitter, have you considered texting them?
Texting is no longer a taboo or overly casual mode of communication. These days, nearly everyone sends and receives texts. If you’re eager to text prospects but need some guidance, use the following tips and techniques.
How to Text Sales Prospects: Basic Protocol
First, some general rules on texting your prospects:
- Limit each text to a simple message (preferably in the form of a question) that your prospect can respond to quickly and easily.
- Read, re-read, and then read again before you send. If your phone has autocorrect, you might accidentally send the wrong message. Next thing you know, you’ve offended your prospect or lost credibility.
- Only text your clients during normal business hours. Sending a message at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night crosses the line into inappropriate.
- Don’t send pictures, emoticons, or GIFs -- just words.
6 Times to Text Your Prospect
You may be wondering, “When is the right time to text a prospect?” Here are six ideal situations in which to engage with clients via text.
1) When You’re Running Late
Giving your prospect the heads up when you are running late to a meeting is a must. Successful salespeople are rarely late, but if it happens, shooting off a short text is helpful, courteous, and effective. People tend to see new texts before emails, which makes text a good medium for the “I’m running late” message.
2) When You're Meeting Them for Coffee
Everyone appreciates a nice gesture. If you’re waiting for your prospect to arrive to a coffee meeting, send them a text while you are waiting in line offering to get them a latte. As an added benefit, this opens up the texting line of communication -- so you can send future texts down the line. This message also acts as a quick meeting reminder.
3) When You Have Timely News
When you get a new text, your phone probably chimes or sends you a notification. I’m guessing you check your phone as soon as you hear that alert or see the notification. Sending a text to a prospect therefore helps you communicate information you’d like them to see right away. For example, if they have limited time to take advantage of a promotion, you might text them to let them know.
Use this type of text sparingly, since pulling the trigger too often will cause it to lose its effect -- not to mention, you’ll seem pushy.
4) When You're Making One Last Attempt
If you have a pre-existing relationship with a client and they unexpectedly stop responding to your calls or emails, send a text before you give up.
Try something along these lines: “Hi Sue, I hope you’re doing well. Just wanted to make sure that I didn’t do something to offend you in our last meeting. Can I give you a quick call?”
This message allows you to either close their file, or move on past the issue and win the deal.
5) When You're Going to Call
Send a short text alerting your client that you’ll be calling in a few minutes, such as, “Hi, I am going to call you in 30 minutes to discuss next steps. I hope you can take my call.” This announces your intentions and lets your prospect prepare for the conversation. Or perhaps they respond that it’s not a good time. Either way, you’ve gotten their attention.
6) When You'd Like Some Insight
Thanks to your pre-call research, you should know a good deal about the person and company you are calling. But you can never know too much. Send a quick text to gain more insight into the main problem you’re hoping to solve. I recently received this text message from a rep: “Before our call, can you tell me what your #1 priority is?”
I responded immediately. When that sales rep called me, we were both focused on my number one priority and how she could address it.
If you’re not already texting your prospects, it’s time to start. Use these suggestions to start sending timely, relevant, and helpful messages.