Get your prospecting email opened. 1 simple tip.

In my work consulting and copywriting Executive Access emails, letters and Inmails for B2B new business sales teams all over the world, I see one common omission made by experienced sales people and those new to new business prospecting* – that significantly reduces the effectiveness of their prospecting messages.

Namely, they fail to use the first name of the person who they are trying to contact in the subject line.

Think about this for a moment.

Why were you given a first name?

Yes, of course it’s an adorable name! Or perhaps you were named after a favourite Uncle or Aunt. And this isn’t the point…

Because, a first name is a societal construct for getting the attention of an individual.

Imagine shouting to a crowd of people “hey you!” Everyone turns round. Not helpful, useful or quick when you’re trying to get one person’s attention.

You and your prospective customers have been conditioned to respond when your name is used, so take advantage of this in your prospecting message subject line.

Use the prospects* first name in your subject line, e.g. “Matt, good morning…”

A subject line can be a simple greeting and pleasantry (another influence construct) as in the example above, or it can allude to a trigger event, e.g. “Matt, your recent speech…” “Matt, your interview in WSJ…” “Matt, your $1B growth objective…”

The new business sales people that I work with say using the first name of the person they want to connect with in their subject line has helped them dramatically improve their ability to engage executives in conversations.

“Getting the attention of an executive has always been one of the most challenging parts of business development for me. I worked with Matt to put together a very targeted and powerful email that was intended to stir the interest of my C-level prospects. Incredibly, the email has yielded a 50% response rate and in a couple of situations, I was on the phone the next day with prospects I had struggled to reach in the past! I can’t recommend Matt enough. The process that he walks you through is guaranteed to result in emails that yield results.” –  Managing Partner

Sometimes it’s the little things that yield some of the greatest results.

That’s often been true in my experience. What do you think?

Executive Access – in minutes, hours or days…not weeks, months or never!

* Be mindful of how you think and talk about potential customers. “Prospect, suspect, target.” These words influence our energy and the way we write and talk to potential customers. If you describe them in these terms you will sabotage your results – unconsciously these terms will influence what you write/say and how you come across to your potential customer.

Fed up with long sales cycles & low close rates? Prospect & Sell to the right people.

Last week on a trip to the Middle East, I conducted an Executive Access! workshop for a combined group of inside sales, field sales and marketing people.

I was struck by how many participants stood up to take pictures of the graphic above – which summarizes the core motivations of functional and strategic executives and their ability to spend/buy.

Even more impactful were the ‘ahas’ and stories of frustration from sales people who realized that they spend most of their time prospecting into and trying to sell to mid ranking functional executives who are vested in the status quo…”who can’t say yes, but can say no.” Quite simply, the motivations of mid ranking executives they had been spending all their time on are operationalize and execute – not to introduce change/buy (unless a significant trigger event was in effect).

If, as research shows, as much as 95% of buyers are in status quo and mid ranking executives motivations are to execute/operationalize – not introduce change, then why do most sales leaders and their sellers focus their time and energy on such low probability activity?

Firstly, I think this is an awareness issue.

Many sales people and sales leaders simply haven’t been taught what the motivations and drivers of various buying stakeholders are – and they simply accept that if they sell a technology, then the IT Director is the buyer. Or if they sell marketing solutions, then it’s the VP Marketing. Or if they sell training, it’s the Dir/VP HR or Learning and Development. Etc, etc. This will have been reinforced by Ideal Customer Profiles that don’t take into account the circumstances or triggers that caused these mid ranking executives to buy in the past (that loosened the status quo and put them in the market to buy).

Secondly, most messaging that is produced tends to be product/solution focused – not outcome or results focused. Only mid ranking executives tend to respond to feature/function messages. Senior executives will just delete. So sellers come to believe that senior decision makers will not meet with them because they never respond. They DO respond and agree to meetings, just NOT with sales people whose email sounds like a promotional message. And most sales leaders and sales people struggle (marketing too) to create customer focused messaging. And most have never been taught to WRITE persuasively to senior execs either. So they keep sending out the bland stuff that sounds just like everybody else and rely on ‘grit’ and ‘activity’ to get lucky.

Here’s what happens when the written message becomes customer focused and sellers go high. Immediate results for sales and marketing…

“I got a referral to the right person in 7 minutes!”

“I spent 2 years with one of my prospects without any response using the old mindset of approaching mid-level managers. After a 2 day session with Matt the result was amazing,CEO meeting in 9 hours after one email with no follow up.”

“Thanks again for a great session. I can’t stop saying that we should have learnt this at University! The open rates increased for each of our campaigns, taking them to an average of 18-20% instead of 12-15% and improved the registration numbers to our events. Thanks a lot for that! I am sure some of your magic positive power helped us too .”

Here’s some other RESULTS.

For FREE resources that will help you get calls and meetings with senior executives in minutes, hours and days…not weeks, months or never, visit