Sales leader or Marketing VP. Is your SDR’s and Sales Reps email signature sabotaging their prospecting?

If your salespeople are involved in prospecting for new business and they use email as part of their outreach to new contacts, you may want to take a close look at their email signatures…specifically their job title.

Does their job title establish peer to peer credibility with the person you want them to speak or meet with – or, does it, like most of the sales teams that I work with, sabotage their prospecting effectiveness and results?

Last week I worked with two teams on how to write emails and letters to CEO’s and other senior decision making executives that would result in responses and meetings in minutes, hours or days…not weeks, months or never.

The first was an inside sales team tasked with generating meetings for field sales – the second, a field sales team who also wanted to be able to generate meetings with their top ‘must win’ accounts.

In both sessions the topic of job titles came up and how they would be perceived by a receiving CEO or senior executive.

Here’s the question I asked both teams. “Do you think your job title hinders or helps your ability to get meetings with the CEO?”

Both teams agreed that it hindered.

Here was my follow up question. “So why have a job title in your email?”

“Because marketing says we have to!” cried out the SDR’s.

As the VP of Marketing was sitting in the first session, I asked him ‘why’ a job title was needed in the SDR’s signature and would it be OK if they removed it immediately. “Of course” was the sheepish reply.

The next day the VP of Sales smacked his head in disbelief at being asked the same ‘hinders or help’ question. It had never occurred to him that this small detail could hinder his team’s success.

Folks, it’s little details like this that can make a big difference between getting results like these;

Matt’s advice has helped me reach out to C-level prospects in a much more efficient way. By tweaking wording, focusing on the big picture and putting together a strategy to reach target accounts, his help has provided results right out of the gate. My first CEO response was under one minute after sending our message! Nate Lawrence, SDR

Matt is a dynamic speaker and can effectively help you in reaching the C-Suite level. I employed his suggestions after receiving his valuable training and literally within 2 hours of sending out a well thought email, I set an appointment! Matt is an amazing resource and I highly recommend him. Amanda Fleck, Associate Sales Manager

The results across the team have been exceptional. I myself used Matt’s methodology in an email to the GM of a large organization I had been prospecting for the longest time.Within 24 hours from sending the email, I had my meeting confirmed! Orlagh Brady, Senior Client Partner

…or having your sales people spend weeks, months or years, spending valuable time and 10 to 30 touches before they get a meeting with a mid ranking executive who can’t say ‘yes’ but can say ‘no’.

Life is too short for this kind of inefficiency! No other profession would tolerate it…would they?

Do your new business sales team a favour. Help them be more successful.

Reduce their (and your) stress and have more fun prospecting – for less effort and with more positive results.

If it’s takes your new business sales people too long to get meetings with senior decision makers (weeks or months) – for too much effort (more than 4 touches) – and your sales cycles are long and not enough deals close because they’re selling too low, get in contact with me.

It’s Time to Stop Dehumanizing Customers with Your Language

Originally posted on April 28th on Selling Power Magazine’s Sales 2.0 blog.

Words have power. How you, as a company leader and sales leader, talk about your potential customers has a tremendous impact on your growth results – because how you talk about customers will be how your sales people talk to your customers.

Think about the words the sales profession habitually uses to describe potential customers and how many organizations still describe the sales process: Potential customers are “suspects,” “prospects,” and “targets”…to be “probed,” “qualified,” “handled,” “controlled,” and – finally – “closed.”

Dehumanizing much?

Many sales organizations I’ve visited have “war rooms” to review their deals. In strategy sessions, “beachheads” and “outflanking” to “beat” the competition are discussed.

In account planning, accounts are to be “penetrated.”

New hires – “aggressive” “hunters” and “closers.”

Now just imagine for a moment that your “must win” customers were listening in on these conversations. Do you think they would ever want to work with your salespeople or your company if they overheard how you talk about them? Or would they flee to the hills to escape your barbaric and rapacious hordes?

“Yeah, but they’re not listening in – so it’s OK. Right?”

It’s not. Here’s why you might want to reconsider how you describe potential customers and be very intentional about the words you use.

The latest research in neuroscience and linguistics shows that the words you use play an important role in regulating emotion and behavior – from communicator to recipient and back again – and, for many salespeople, this is done at an unconscious level. They’re not intentional in the words they choose.

If sales is the transfer of emotion and energy to another human being, what energy and emotion are being transferred to your potential customers when your sellers are on the phone or three feet away from them?

Is your salesperson picturing the human being opposite them as a “target” to be “hunted” and “closed?” And, if so, how do you think the “target” will feel? Defensive or open? Ready to do business, or thinking how to get your seller out of their office?

As company leader or sales leader, this is your responsibility to change, expect, and make intentional. Like kids who model the behavior and language of their parents, your salespeople will model the words they hear from you. If you talk and describe your potential customers in the terms above, you shouldn’t be surprised that your salespeople’s customer interactions – from prospecting to discovery conversations – aren’t delivering the results you want to see and hear.

YOU need to start changing your language and being intentional about how you describe your potential customers and where they are in their buying journey, if you want your salespeople to model the same.

Awareness is the first step. STOP using the words above. START being intentional in your choice of words. Openly correct yourself in front of your salespeople when you call a potential customer a “target.” They’ll soon get the message.

You’ll be glad…and so will your new customers.