Email Prospecting in the Time of COVID-19

First of all — what a weird time to be a human on planet Earth.  Peace, wellness, and sanity to everyone in the RevBoss orbit and beyond.  

This too shall pass — tides come in, tides go out.  Take care of yourself and your family.

Let’s get right into it…

It is admittedly a tough time to be in sales, especially the front end of the sales process.  Everyone is trying to figure out work from home, find childcare, make sure their business is solvent, etc.  And it might be like this for a while.

So what do you do?

For one — don’t freak out. Stay calm, be thoughtful.

For two — you DON’T sit on your hands, close your eyes, and hope that everything gets back to normal.  This is normal now. Process it, accept it, and go forth. Hope is for amateurs. Pros make something happen.

For three — you DON’T do things the way you were doing them a couple weeks ago.  We’ve had our clients paused all week and will keep some clients paused for a bit longer to give the dust a bit more time to settle and to give ourselves more time to adjust our messaging and approach.  You don’t want to come across as tone deaf, calloused, and/or just a jerk.

So what do you do?

Stop selling altogether — start relationship’ing instead.  You’re going to miss your month, probably your quarter, and probably the next quarter.  Accept it as a given and start playing the longer game. (You should have already been thinking this way, btw.)  Unless you’re selling into a category that is especially exposed to the COVID-19 turmoil — e.g. restaurants, hotels, etc. — your targets won’t change.  But everything else should — your value statement, your call-to-action, your process, etc.

Aggressively show empathy.  Your humanity is the only thing you have to sell in times like this, so I say lean into it.  Honesty is incredibly disarming and exceedingly rare, even when times are tough. You’re trying to figure things out, you’re scared, and you still have a job to do.  So does your prospect.

Email accordingly.  So does one translate aggressive, honest, empathetic relationship’ing to email prospecting messaging?  Probably with nuggets that look like this…

  • I’m at home in sweatpants, you’re at home in sweatpants — we should trade tips.  (Personally, I prefer Nike fleece with a tapered leg.)
  • I don’t expect you to buy anything…but I want to be on your list when things get better in the year 2027. 🙂
  • I’ll be honest, I’m trying to figure out how to do my job in a new context — would you be willing to share some perspective that might help me be a resource for people like you?
  • My favorite thing in the world is to talk to ______ about _______ — can we chat for a few minutes later this week?
  • My goal through all of this upheaval is to grow my network and meet more interesting people like you — can we connect for a short intro call?
  • Not sure how you’re using what I imagine might be some unexpected downtime, but we have (an education resource) that might be interesting.
  • My goal through all of this is to share what we’re seeing from the front lines — you can follow me on Twitter here.  Be well.

You get the idea…

When you get a call, you should be gracious and helpful.  Your goal is a 15-minute call to make a friend. If you can advance to the next step in your sales process, then lucky you!

I hope all of this has been helpful.  Let me know how it goes.