How to With Betsy Rowbottom

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How To with Betsy Rowbottom

Betsy Rowbottom, Director of Business Development at SRH here. I am this week’s Dispatch contributor, and I thought it was only fitting that I share some of my trade secrets with you about how to win friends and influence people (and close sales). It’s the first week of January and our sales and marketing plans have been finalized for 2021 (right!?). It’s the top of the roller coaster! It’s thrilling! And it’s terrifying. How will 2021 go? Nobody knows for sure. All we can do is follow the smart plans we’ve outlined for ourselves. Make the calls. Send the emails. And adjust as the data comes in to show us where to make the necessary course corrections.

My role at SRH is a unique one. First and foremost, I am a salesperson so I do a lot of cold prospecting to open doors but I also understand the importance of marketing to help pick the locks (to stick with the metaphor). Today, I want to share some of my How To Write A Great Cold Email. I recently discovered the HBO show How To with John Wilson. Have you seen it? It’s pretty great. Wilson talks about how to do anything and everything including How To Make Small Talk, How To Improve Your Memory, How To Put Up Scaffolding. You know… just everyday stuff. The shows are an exploration into how to do these things, but the path to learn always reveal new questions and challenges. Just like sales!

How to write a great cold email:

  1. Make it personal. It takes 5-10 minutes to dig into someone’s LinkedIn profile to read what they are all about. What news posts are they sharing? What blogs do they mention? Extra credit: Reference a blog post that the person recently wrote. As I write this, I know that most people won’t read this post, well, except for you! Thank you! When someone comments on what you’ve written it feels good, so focus on quality over quantity. Sales should feel one-to-one. Marketing is one-to-many (but even marketing is getting more targeted) so sales needs to step up its game.
  2. Make it all about them. This is obvious, but often in our excitement to tell a prospect about our new solution that we made just for them, we forget about them. If 50% or more of the copy is focusing on you and your solution, they won’t read it. Think about a bad date vs. a good date. Good dates, the person is focusing on us. “Wow! You look great! Where did you learn how to salsa dance?” They ask probing questions because they are investing time to get to know us. Bad dates drone on and on to tell us how great they are. “That reminds me of a 20-minute story wherein I am the hero and will show you that I am the best”. Ugh. Check, please. Aka delete.
  3. Make it yourself. This is similar to bullets #1 and #2, because when you make your copy personal and focused on the recipient, it will naturally feel bespoke and special. We live in a mass-communication world. Skip the perfectly templated email for one that feels like it was written just for them. Every detail shows your reader that you made this still-wet with glue and glitter Valentine just for them, instead of pushing a Send Button to 500 people. Sometimes less polish is more human. Spell-check, yes. Glitter optional.

It’s a brand new year and there’s a lot of excitement for getting back to our face-to-face offices sans masks, coffee dates, court-side Bucks game… the list goes on. Just as it will take the world a bit of time to dole out the vaccine, so too, does the sales and marketing process to connect with the right audiences. Stick with it.

What sales tactics are working for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop me an email at: [email protected].

2021, here we go!