How to Replace Tired Sales Tactics with Authentic, Engaging InMail Messages

May 7, 2018

Cold outreach is often impersonal and irrelevant.

Cold calling has a bad rap for a pretty good reason. It can be intrusive. The people targeted may not feel like their interests are a primary concern of the person initiating the contact. And there’s an overcast of awkwardness to it all.

To the relief of buyers and sellers alike, the robocalls of yesteryear have been replaced with more informed, consultative tactics like LinkedIn InMail.

Sales pros finding success with LinkedIn InMail know there are steps that can improve the quality of your outreach. In this post, we’ll cover a couple of tactics to avoid, as well as ways to personalize InMail to send messages that earn responses from prospective buyers.

Fake Enthusiasm is Transparent

Some salespeople may feign excitement in an attempt to get their sales prospects to share the same level of enthusiasm. Over the phone, this tactic is more transparent than you might think, and it can make prospects wary of your outreach and skeptical about your motives.

Fake enthusiasm tends to be obvious in written form, too. Using all caps, excessive punctuation, and superlatives in an email can negatively affect how a prospect sees you. People are usually more even-keeled in real life, making it a good idea for you to mirror their behavior.

Instead of forcing excitement that your prospect may not feel, consider striking a tone that’s positive and friendly. A warm yet confident demeanor will help you seem approachable and knowledgeable, allowing for the first strands of trust to knit.

Templates Can be Easy to Spot

Templates can streamline almost any task, creating efficiency and simplifying the effort needed to achieve something. While that’s useful for systematizing recurring work, email templates aren’t the best way to convey to a prospect that you’ve done your research and are confident you can make things better for them.

Email templates fall short because they’re impersonal and oh-so-similar to other emails your prospect has received. Generic templates can make your prospect feel unimportant and indistinguishable from the other people on your prospect list.

Rather than fully templating your email outreach, consider using a basic message formula instead. A formula can serve as a checklist to ensure your message hits on certain points without prescribing your exact words.

Personalizing InMail Works Wonders

Some things in life can be forced, like cramming one extra file folder in your jam-packed briefcase. But familiarity isn’t one of those things.

A blog run by the Penn State psychology department explains how familiarity plays a role in forming relationships, like those critical to B2B sales pros. “...in the absence of preexisting opinions, increased exposure [to someone] results in positive feelings due to familiarity and perceived similarity.  Familiarity has been shown to be positive and reassuring for most people, while perceived similarity results in the assumption that people have more in common, facilitating warmer, more comfortable interactions.”

Familiarity opens windows of opportunity for people to connect in meaningful ways. How do you develop familiarity with prospects through InMail to leverage the opportunity? Here are a few tips:

  1. Be active and visible to help prospects know you before they hear from you. Part of your social selling strategy may include maintaining a strong, active presence on LinkedIn. The exposure and interaction can give prospects insight into your areas of expertise and warm them to your InMail outreach.
  2. Conduct research on LinkedIn. View the profiles of your prospects to gain insight into areas like where they attended school, cities in which they’ve worked, companies they’ve worked for, and training they’ve had. Find a common link between their background and your own. Use the commonality to capture your prospect’s attention in your next InMail.
  3. Remember customers are not all the same. Prior experience selling to a similar company can certainly be useful to a point, however, don’t let what you know keep you from diving deep to learn about your prospect’s specific situation. When writing your InMail, let your experience, along with specific knowledge of the prospect’s company, demonstrate your interest in helping them personally.
  4. Move beyond basic contextual personalization. The [insert name here] is personalized only in that it includes your prospect’s name, which is to say it isn’t very personal. What kind of first and third-party information is available to help you customize your InMail messages in more significant ways? CRM and sales engagement tools along with purchased data can help to increase the relevancy of your message.

InMail works well with other tactics to boost conversions. When you invest time and effort in improving the quality of your outreach, you’ll succeed in fostering valuable connections with prospective buyers.

Learn more ways to establish authentic connections with your top prospects when you download our latest guide, Read Me If You Want to Improve Your InMail Response Rates on LinkedIn.

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