The Most Powerful Sales Tool You’re NOT Using…
(…and 6 Ways to Make It Work for You)
It’s the mythical golden rule of sales…
It takes “seven touches” to close a deal.
Depending on what you’re selling, that number could be higher or lower. But no matter what your business’ magic number is, the basic premise is undeniable.
Following up with multiple contacts is the key to making more sales.
In today’s sea of technology, there are a lot of ways to follow up. But there’s one tried-and-true sales tool that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Text Messaging — The Most Powerful Sales Tool You’re (Probably) Not Using
Businesses have been sending text messages for years. To tell you your electric bill is due on the 24th. Or that your car is ready to get picked up at the mechanic.
What a waste!
Because texts are even more powerful as a sales channel.
Everyone Loves Texting
Text messaging technology has been around for over 25 years. And while it may not be the sexiest way to communicate, people still love it!
For starters, it’s simple. You don’t need to download an app, set up a special account or add users to a chat group.
You just locate your contact’s phone number and you’re off to the races.
Secondly, it’s familiar. Text messaging has been a standard feature on nearly all cellphones for years. And because it is so easy and accessible, it’s become the most widely used of all smartphone features.
A study by Pew Research showed 97% of Americans on average send at least one text every day.
Our collective love of texting makes it one of the most personal and powerful communication channels.
But it gets even better…
3 BIG Reasons Why You Want to Use Text in Your Sales Strategy
Beyond its massive popularity, there are three more reasons text messaging is its own “killer app.”
First, delivery of your message is practically guaranteed.
That’s critical. Send an email to a prospect and you have the potential to end up in your recipient’s promotions tab — or worse — their spam folder. Even if you’re sending awesome value that your prospects signed up to receive. This can lead to a lot of missed messages.
That’s not the case with text messages. Provided you have permission to text your prospect, you can almost be 100% sure they’ll get your message.
And that leads to the second big reason you want to consider adding text to your follow-up toolbox…
The open rate of text messages is off the charts!
The average email open rate (across multiple industries) is 37%. That’s an impressive number.
But text messages have an insane overall open rate of 99%!
And if that weren’t enough, there’s still another reason you want to consider text — your messages will get read fast.
Send an email and who knows when your prospect will click to open it. (Assuming it even ends up in their inbox.)
Data show that 90% of texts are read within the first three minutes they’re received!
Even More Good News About Texting
Here’s something else you may not have known…
While nearly nine out of 10 consumers (89%) say they’d love to be able to communicate with a business via messaging…
… Less than half of all businesses (48%) are equipped to communicate with their prospects and customers via text.
The point is if you want a big advantage in following up to make more sales, you should be looking to incorporate some form of text messaging into your sales strategy.
So with that said, here are 6 killer ways to use text messaging in your sales strategy.
Send “Transactional” Texts When a Prospect Requests Information
Here’s something that should charge you up!
A study by the Harvard Business Review discovered that sales professionals who reach out to leads within an hour of receiving a query or a form submission were nearly seven times more likely to qualify the prospect than those who waited 60 minutes or longer. And 60 times more likely than those who waited 24 hours or longer.
The faster you respond to any request for information, the more likely you are to start moving that prospect forward.
A phone call is ideal. But if you can’t get the prospect on the phone, it only takes a few seconds to follow that up with a text message.
Acknowledge the information they requested and send a calendar link in your text so they can schedule a call when it’s convenient.
Follow Up on Unreturned Voicemails
It’s easy for your calls to end up in a prospect’s voicemail.
Caller ID has made people much more likely to ignore calls from numbers they don’t recognize.
And at larger organizations there are still the “gatekeepers” to deal with — ”I’m sorry, she’s not available. Would you like her voicemail?”
While these situations are pretty much unavoidable, they can be mitigated by using text.
If your voicemails aren’t returned, following up with a text message explaining the crux of your call gives them a reason to check your message and call you back.
Asking the right questions will give you the right information. And the right information will give you a huge advantage when it comes to moving your prospects forward.
Don’t be afraid to send a friendly text that asks a question. It shows you’re interested in your prospect’s needs and how you can meet them.
Or better yet, send a link to a short survey page. Prospects are often much more inclined to spend a minute answering a few questions online than they might be to getting on the phone to do the same.
And as an added bonus, you’ll likely get your answers faster. Pew Research found that sharing a survey via text both speeds up response time and increases the number of responses received on mobile devices.
Always Add Value
Share anything you think will be beneficial to your prospect.
Links to case studies that showcase the benefits of your products or services. Links to your blog or other content that will benefit them. Links to news or any other items of interests that they may find valuable.
This opportunity is limited only by your imagination.
Integrate MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)
Sometimes it’s difficult to say everything you want in a standard 160-character message.
Well, have no fear. Because you can also use MMS to send images or videos to your prospects as well. (You can even include YouTube URLs.) Nearly all smartphones today are MMS-capable. And the addition of media enhances your presence in your prospect’s mind.
Just one warning… Don’t send anything too big in case your prospect has any kind of data restrictions on their phone.
Recap Your Calls
Simply sending a “Thanks for your time” text shows you value their time and you’re working on solving their problem.
A Few Final Tips:
√ Keep your texts short and to the point. The brevity of text messages is one of the things that makes them so attractive and so responsive.
√ Pay attention to the times at which you send texts. In general, texts between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. mean you won’t be waking up your prospect or interrupting their drive to the office. Also be aware of your prospect’s time zone.
√ Personalize your texts whenever possible. Including your prospect’s name increases the intimacy of your “text touches.”
√ Make sure every text has a call to action. No matter how small.
Texting may never replace the good old-fashioned, face-to-face sitdown meeting. But it’s a hugely effective way to get and stay in front of your prospect, keeping you top of mind.
So… have you used text messaging in your sales efforts? Share some of the strategies you’ve used and the challenges you’ve faced in the comments below.
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