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Sales Dissected : The Anatomy of a Prospecting Template

No matter how innovative or life-changing a product is, it will never be successful without a sales strategy. Every seasoned sales representative starts the sales process with prospecting, the process of identifying and making first contact with leads. Whether sending a cold email for the first time or getting back in touch with a potential customer, sales representatives will not make the hard pitch with the first contact; instead, they will start with small talk and then work the product into the conversation.Unfortunately, writing hundreds or even thousands of emails to potential customers takes days to execute. A better, less time consuming way to successfully prospect leads is to create an email template that can be easily customized across a broad audience. Every prospecting template should have the following:

  • Subject line
  • Greeting
  • Body with easily customizable content
  • Call to action
  • Signature

Subject Line: Making a Good First Impression

Since the subject line of an email is the deciding factor of whether your potential customer will actually open the email, you must make it descriptive and eye catching. The subject line should contain the purpose of the email and a hint about the content. Make it about the recipient instead of your product.

Greeting: The Virtual Handshake

In most cases, you have never met the potential customer in person. In a way the greeting of a prospecting email acts as a handshake at a networking event–it is the first time you say hello. As in a networking event, you do not want to be overly casual or formal, but right in the middle. The best technique in creating a greeting would be to stick to the standard formalities of your industry. For example, a sales representative in a conservative field such as law or finance would be much more formal than a sales representative in the tech startup industry.

Body: It’s all About the Customer

Before you can create an email template, you need a reason for sending the email to a prospect.

A great way to break the ice when contacting prospective customers is to find a connection between you and the potential customer. Great ways to strike up a conversation include:

  • A congratulatory email on a product launch or press coverage
  • Praise for new success
  • Adding Value by a reference to an article or blog post
  • An off topic comment that is relevant to the prospect

Each of the approaches–congratulations, praise, adding value, and off topic–can become an email template. The biggest trick to a prospecting email template is to create the illusion that you wrote the specific email for that specific customer. How do you do that? Customizable fields in a template make this very easy. When designing the template, be sure to leave blank spaces where you can fill in with specific details about that particular customer.

For example, one of Yesware’s templates features a congratulatory email for a product launch or press mention. The customizable fields in this template include the name, accomplishment, press mention, customer’s product, and an example of a similar customer the company already works with. With five customizable fields in that email, the customer is sure to believe the email was written especially for them.

The Call to Action: Ask and You Shall Receive

After you have made your introductions and explained the nature of your product, you should leave the potential customer with a call to action that outlines the next steps in the process. A call to action can be anything from signing up for a demo of your product to awaiting a phone call in a couple days. A call to action will give the potential customer direction to what you would like them to do.

Signature: The Last Impression

As the last part of your email, the signature will be the last thing the customer remembers about you. A signature is also one more time to show the potential customer your brand. Make your signature consistent and neutral to keep your brand looking professional and organized.

A prospecting template speeds up your sales process by allowing you to contact hundreds of potential customers with minimal effort. Yesware provides two templates for prospecting: an article template and a congratulatory template. Sign up today for your free trial and let us know what you think.

What kind of email templates do you use for prospecting? Write your ideas in the comment section below!