If you want to engage CEOs and leave an impression, you've got to think like them. CEOs are bombarded with sales emails on an hourly basis. They spend their days scuffling through important issues just long enough to address them before moving on to the next task. So, how can you best utilize your list of CEO email addresses to prospect, engage and entice these busy execs?
After hearing from CEOs directly, here are our takeaways to improve your traction with them:
1. Focus on solving their problem
Let's go back to Sales 101. You want to make a sale? You need to intrigue your buyer. Bombarding them with an overflow of emails asking them to commit to you without addressing a problem of theirs will get you nowhere. When you're drafting your emails, ask yourself, how am I adding value for the prospect? What solution am I offering?
Pro Tip: If you're starting with an intro to your product, you're doing it wrong.
2. Segment your lists, then segment again
Don't waste a perfectly good list of CEO email addresses by failing to segment properly. With CEOs and executives generally, you need to personalize your emails as much as possible. Of course, with an expansive list of prospects to reach out to, you don't have time to “do your homework” on each and every one of their companies. Segment by sector, then by industry, by company size, revenue, and anything else relevant to your product. Research common pain points within each segment, and tailor your emails to speak to their specific needs. Otherwise, they'll see right through you.
Pro Tip: Build out your personas initially off of pain points. You may be talking to energy companies and construction companies, but their challenges will vary.
3. Focus on your premier audience
For your ideal customer, you gotta pull out all the stops. Go beyond segmenting, and refine a short list of the crem dela crem execs you want to target. (We call them High Value Targets, or HVTs). Research their individual backgrounds. To spark their interest, speak to their past accomplishments that have landed them in the chief executive chair. This will show them you genuinely seek to speak with them on a personal level - and that you are not undermining their value and wasting their time with copy-paste or mail-merge prospecting.
4. Personalize the elevator pitch, and make it quick
Get to the point. Speak to their unique problem, and deliver an immediate solution. Executives don't have time for you. They barely have time for their own employees. You have to convince them, in fewer words than it takes to scroll, that you understand their unique needs, and that you have a solution worth their time to consider it.
Pro Tip: Keep the email as short as possible. You can always end with further background information below the signature.
5. Minimize their effort, and maximize your return
You have the green light to celebrate your wins. Create social proof wherever you can by acknowledging other trusted businesses using your product (of course, make sure you have their permission first). The main takeaway here is to minimize the effort on behalf of your prospect… especially for busy executives who don't have the time to weed through your website to decide whether or not you're a credible company worth their investment. Clearly define your solution and value proposition as it is relevant to their business.
Pro Tip: Add a link to your website. But not just your homepage. Create persona-specific landing pages that will speak to their unique challenges and interests to increase your rate of conversions for those who click through.
Time is money; CEOs are busy, and they'll see right through you. Be sure to follow these steps above to improve your prospecting efforts with executives of all kinds.
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