Here’s a scenario we’ve all experienced. It is three days before a key demo, and you need the sponsor at the client to follow through on her promise to schedule discovery calls. The problem is, she isn’t responding to your emails or voice-mails. As a pre-sales professional, you know the importance of making those connections and getting your critical questions answered. The salesperson on the account is too busy or distracted to help. What do you do? The answer is all in the subject line…
DON’T write, “I hope you’re doing well.” That email will be ignored and dumped in the trash folder. It is trite and uninteresting. Most people won’t read beyond it even if they recognize the source of the email. Don’t write anything that you would ignore. Look in your inbox on your mobile device. Do it right now! Scroll through your emails and notice how many you’ve ignored because there is nothing that grabs your attention or triggers urgency.
Pre-Sales and Synchronous Communication
As a pre-sales professional, you understand how vital synchronous communication is before and after one of your demos or presentations. Below are some subject lines that work for a variety of use cases.
- “Larry, Larry, Larry” – I had a former Partner that would put the person’s first (given) name three times in the subject line when his earlier correspondence was being ignored. When someone sees their name three times in the subject line, and it is coming from a known sender (like yourself to the sponsor ahead of a demo), they will notice AND, they will read it. You might be uncomfortable with the directness of this approach, but it works every time for me!
- Twenty-four characters or less in the subject line – According to Hubspot’s “State of Email Marketing in 2020” annual report, “Mobile opens accounted for 46 percent of all email opens”. Mobile devices truncate long subject lines, so keep it short.
- “ONLY 3 Days B4 Our Demo…Help!” – this subject line expresses urgency and is hard to ignore. If you’ve been sending requests for days or weeks, this one will get her attention.
- “Critical Video B4 Your Demo” – The use case for this subject is when you want all of the stakeholders to watch a demo video before the live demo. For example, you want them to watch the navigation overview before the demo, so you don’t have to burn time in the event on a non-differentiating subject.
- “Time-sensitive answers/video” – this subject line is for a post-demo situation where the prospect had unanswered questions that required research. The words “time-sensitive” create urgency. You go on to explain that the answers are time-sensitive because you respect their desire to have quick responses. The word “video” is designed to pique their curiosity. Very few people record and send a demo video that addresses open questions. Doing so differentiates you from the competition. Try it. Simply screen record follow up demo topics that address their requests that required further research.
Rise Above the Noise
You might be thinking that I’m trying to turn you into salespeople. Quite the contrary. As a pre-sales professional, your requests are focused, time-sensitive, and serve the needs of the prospect. The prospect’s experience suffers when those emails are glossed over, ignored, or delete,. Use these techniques to rise above the noise and help the prospect improve their selection process.