Skip to main content

Being clear on your prospecting WHY is critical to your success. Yes, of course, you’re prospecting to generate new leads, grow your business, exceed your quota.

But what do you want to accomplish from your outbound email? If you want to persuade, influence or motivate someone who has no clue about who you are and what you do, to agree to a meeting, you need to give them a compelling reason to do so.

And your compelling reason isn’t likely because of all the cool things your product can do. It’s about all the cool things your product can do for them. (If you want to reread that, I’m happy to wait!)

Can you find a compelling reason for this prospect to respond to this outreach example?


The seller talked about the product but neglected to get the prospect excited about the product. What will the smartly designed hotel rooms do for me and the team I might want to bring there?

Prospecting is about exciting them, intriguing them – in some way piquing their interest – so they WANT to take the next step in their buyer’s journey with you. With this foundation, you are on your way to engaging them and building relationships, business and sales.

Hi Name,

I am writing in hopes of finding the appropriate person who handles meetings and events/leisure travel/transient business?

*Hotel* has been recently renovated with smartly designed hotel rooms and suites and complimentary high-speed hotel Wi-Fi. We are all about connectivity and comfort.

If you are the appropriate person to speak with, what does your calendar look like? If not, who do you recommend I talk to?


Everyone seems to agree the average response rate for cold sales emails is around 1%.

Why is that and why would you settle for that?

There are only two reasons for such a low average.
1. Unqualified leads
2. Rotten emails.

If you double that response rate, what will that mean to you? What if you get to 5% or 20%? It is absolutely possible with a combination of, yup, you guessed it, qualified leads and strategic emails.



Do you agree that it has never been a better time to be in sales? Really it is because almost everything you need to know to sell to your prospect is just one click away.

LinkedIn easily provides:

  • Background
  • Volunteer activities
  • Strengths

And their company website is an even better source of B2B selling help:

  • Values, Mission, product offering
  • You get the point.

But if you don’t use that golden egg, someone else will. You deserve to have the edge! Take two minutes to check out the company’s home page and values. What do they stand for? What are they selling? How are you aligned? I received an inbound lead (love those!) from an AI company. Thirty seconds on their home page and I discovered how much we have in common. Here is what they featured:

“The smartest, data-driven brands and their agencies know they can no longer rely on generic audience solutions. That’s why we build just-for-your-brand Custom AI models to hand-pick audience members to create your best audiences.”

So I’m nurturing this prospect but it could have easily have been part of my outbound approach to “ABC”: Like ABC, we do not rely on generic audience solutions. It’s the emails your associates write that become the basis for your fully customized training. This just-for-you approach ensures — and best results. (See what I did there? It took less than 30 seconds of my time to align myself with their product and create a distinctive advantage.)

What not to do with the information you gain:

  • 8 Act like you know more than you do
  • 8 Act like you are their peer if you aren’t
  • 8 Act like a stalker with the info

Check out this well-intended but faulty prospecting example from a seller to a CEO:

Hi, Came across an article in Pup’s Trust a few weeks back and love the work your group does. I trust that there’s more on the way in 2022.

With respect (and I mean that!), do you think the CEO really cares if you, a person trying to sell something, “loves the work my group does”? The sales person was at least honest in saying “came across an article” and doesn’t claim to have read it! 🙂 Why do you love the work their group does? Is it changing the planet, climate, life as we know it? What are they doing that authentically impacts you? Will their initiative provide Doggie Daycare for every dog help you return to the office?

Use the information you have to build authentic rapport. Maybe:

Doggie Daycare for every dog! When Sophie, my 13 year old Springer, and I read that, we barked with joy. Thanks so much for taking the lead on this initiative. With [name of organization’s] focus on innovation, care and creativity, I’m curious if you might also be interested in…

Another (similar) cold email example not made warm enough:

I wanted to reach out and congratulate you on everything you’ve built with Dog Tail Bank! I recently saw your spotlight piece on LinkedIn and read about your IPO.

What if we update that to:

Everything I read about Dog Tail Bank speaks to your care for associates, and the planet. And though we at ABC aren’t changing the world the way you are, we have innovative, fun and memorable ways to ensure your associates feel appreciated and…

Don’t worry if the language is too formal or fancy for you. Stay focused on the concept. How can you authentically build rapport with content you research?


What gives you the right to interrupt their day? What is your justification for thinking they should even give you 30 seconds of their time? It’s the touchpoint and it’s where that research (see “Do simple research”) comes in.

The opening of a successful prospecting email begins with a connection.

As a fellow member of MPI, I’m wondering if you’re looking for…

Based on my research in LinkedIn, I noticed you are responsible for…Sophie

Spaniel suggested we connect…

Your name was given to me because you plan luxury events throughout EMEA/SWA…

Your opening should quickly clarify that you are a professional with a legitimate reason to be in their inbox today.


MGM Resorts has a great motto,

“Humans were not meant to be bored!”

Live it, breathe it. Let the show begin.

Following the touchpoint, what can you say that will generate excitement or interest? It’s not likely to be your features (woo-hoo, we have wifi!) or your name (I’d like to introduce myself) or your service or specifications (I can’t figure out which one this is supposed to be: we offer the world’s largest delivery platform).

Talk about the outcomes they can achieve, accomplish and expect through your features, expertise and service delivery. What is their goal in choosing your offer? Tell them how they will achieve that. Do it in exciting, positive, brain-friendly terms.


You walk into a bar and meet someone that you find attractive. You say, “Hi, my name is and I’d like you to commit to a 30-minute call with me.” Good luck with that.

What is the logical next step for your buyer to like and trust you? Is it more content? Is it a call or Zoom?

It’s very difficult to jump from, hello to let’s do the wild thing, unless you get really, really lucky. And sorry but that isn’t sustainable. I only used the phrase “call for action” to get your attention. There isn’t always an action but there is always, always a next step. What simple next step can you offer? If at all possible, do not to leave it to your prospect to take that next step. When you can control it, do it.


“I look forward to hearing from you.” I bet you do.

“Please let me know if you have questions.” Delete.

“Your thoughts?”  The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin

In the Second Edition of my Power Sales Writing book (McGraw Hill), I call this close, the “delighter.” End with something delightful. Something that is authentically sweet or caring or focused on what they will achieve.

Here are some examples of delighters:

  • You can count on the perfect celebration here.
  • Sophie will thank you for finding her the perfect home-away-from-home!
  • You can be sure of engagement, learning and fun!
  • Count on generating traffic and loyalty with these healthful, mouth-watering options.

That’s it, folks.

Want more? Want specifics for your company, brand voice, industry, market, buyer? Every sales training workshop I present is 100% customized to ensure you and your team are fully engaged with your learning and that you can immediately apply what you learned to build business and accelerate success.