RAB Research Archive

The Worst Opening Lines in Sales…



Today we want to share with you an actual prospecting email to show how bad it can be: (Redacted to remove company references)

Dear Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com,

Hope all is well. I oversee higher education here at XXXX and I wanted to share the newest XXXX collaboration software at no cost with you. Most recently XXX has launched easy to use, high quality web and video collaboration inside your LMS with benefits including:

Blah, blah, blah.
(We cut this out to save time)

Nothing formal or prepared, just looking to get to know you and the team and to understand your strategy, goals and the challenges the organization may be facing. Thanks in advance and look forward to meeting you. Thanks, XXXX |Major Account Executive Education - XXXX, Inc.

It should be painfully obvious where this seller went wrong:

Email addressed to my email address rather than my name (clearly automated)

Hope all is well. That’s an opening attention grabber?

He starts with what HE does. “I oversee higher education.”

We are not a college. I could argue our training is “higher education” but…

A laundry list of features that mean nothing to be because I’m not a college.

My favorite (sarcasm) part of the whole email: Nothing formal or prepared, just looking to get to know you and the team to understand your strategy, goals and the challenges the organization may be facing.

Why would any prospect want to meet with a seller who is unprepared? Newsflash: Your prospects are not waiting by the phone to get to know you or help you understand them. They have problems, they need solutions.

Thanks to phone calls and emails like that, it was not too difficult to come up with a top 10 list of the worst opening lines in selling. (I hope David Letterman doesn’t mind.) These are all bad, and in no particular order:

• Got anything coming down for me today? • Your account has just been assigned to me… • I’m just checking in… • Is now a good time to talk? • Did I catch you at a bad time? • I’d like to learn a little more about your business… • We are the number one station… • We work with several of your competitors… • I’d like to see if there are some ways we could work together… • How are you today?

In part two tomorrow, we’ll share with you five questions every prospect has, and how to handle them.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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