In a previous post, we looked at the various use cases for SMS in the sales process. But even though communicating with prospects or customers via text has become more prevalent, it still makes people nervous. For some, texting can be a highly personal method of communication. But for others, they may liken it to getting an email and checking it on their mobile phone. Either way, in sales it’s critical to type the right text message to the right person at the right time.
According to the FCC and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it’s the law to obtain permission prior to sending texts for business. It’s also courteous and considerate to do so, especially considering how personal this method of communication feels to many people. Don’t let your messages be considered spam by your prospects.
Never assume that your prospect has your information saved in their phone. In fact, they probably don’t. As a best practice, include a name and company at the top of the message.
Some devices limit message length to 160 characters, causing longer messages to be split into multiple messages. People are busy too, so be succinct. Prospects will appreciate it.
Don’t just send a message to say “hi” or to quickly “check-in.” Always offer valuable information, for example links to articles (or other content) that will help nurture the prospect, answer a question, and/or help advance the sale. This builds trust and credibility. When including links in a message, be sure that it’s clear to the recipient what they will see or where they will go (on the internet) if they click on a link in a text message. It will make them more comfortable about clicking on the link to view the shared content.
Know your prospect’s needs, interests, and concerns. Then demonstrate an understanding by speaking their language. This will help in developing a strong relationship with the prospect.
Although marketing may use mass text messaging after prospects opt-in, text messaging for inside sales teams takes on a more personal, one-to-one approach. Plus, customers want to feel valued and mass messages will definitely not make them feel that way.
Be careful with the frequency of texts to prospects and customers. Don’t become a pest or make them sorry they said “yes” to messaging. This is a sure way to drive them away instead of building rapport.
Be sure not to disturb prospects by sending messages to them at odd hours. Being aware of their timezone is critical to avoid sending messages too early in the morning or well after their work day has ended. With RingDNA, you’ll always know the local time of your prospect by hovering over the clock icon next to their number. When prospects do reply, make it a priority to respond to their texts in a timely manner. This responsiveness could make the difference when it comes to closing the sale.
Find the right balance between casual and formal. Always be professional but not stiff. And, it’s best not to use too many emojis, acronyms, or sloppy punctuation when texting prospects.
When sending text messages, watch out for auto-correct and typos. Make sure the message conveys the intended message. It should be clear, not ambiguous, and don’t forget grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Make it easy for the recipient to take immediate action by providing them with clear direction to the next step. That may be responding with a time for a call or meeting, clicking on a link to read a brief article, or confirming a previously-schedule event.
Text messages need to be easy to understand. Use only common abbreviations and avoid industry jargon as well as specialized terms. Don’t make them feel like they’re decoding a secret message. Keep it simple and straightforward.
Text messaging can be a great addition to any sales process when done correctly. Keep these things in mind when crafting texts to prospects. This will help advance opportunities through the pipeline, and deepen relationships, to increase close rates.