Anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of vendor-outreach can relate to that overwhelming and intrusive feeling when your inbox is flooded with unsolicited emails. With the instant nature of email today, there’s more noise than ever before.
Inevitably, this has led to the creation of, what Reachify has coined, the non-responsive buyer – a person who no longer responds to vendor emails or phone calls. Having worked on the brand side, I not only saw this epidemic but contributed to it, from time to time. Buyers have been inundated with non-personalized messages and will not respond to most inbound sales communications. If this narrative rings a bell, you’re not alone.
Why Vendor Emails Are Not Useful
There are several reasons why vendor emails typically fail to resonate with brands. The main issue – they do not provide relevant information. Most vendor emails fail to:
- Clearly articulate what the company does
- List the vendors that they compete with (i.e. the other solutions you’re evaluating)
- List the current customers or brands that are using them (i.e. case studies)
- Shift the context to fit the direct and personal needs of a company (i.e. integration into your current software stack, how they solve your specific needs)
- Express what size clients they serve (i.e. enterprise, mid-size, small)
While these initial vendor emails tend to lack the basics, if you choose to ignore them, more and even less-relative messages are likely to follow. Eventually, stakeholders within your company will start to forward you the emails they receive, resulting in wasted time and priority chaos.
How to Pre-screen Vendor Emails
So – I asked myself – how can brands better extract value from vendor emails? How can brands make the process more responsive, educational, and time efficient? Then – I realized – if brands begin responding to vendor emails with questions that really help them assess the vendor, they’d be better informed about the marketplace and enabled to make smart decisions.
So, my suggestion for the next time you receive a vendor marketing email, respond like so:
“Thanks [name] for reaching out.
I’d love to ask you a few questions before taking a call. Please respond to the questions below and I will let you know if we are interested.
1) In one sentence, what do you do?
2) Who are your top 3-5 competitors?
3) Who is the most thoughtful company/brand using your product that you can share with me via live experience (if digital) or case study (if offline)?
4) Which brands do you work with, within my vertical/sub-vertical?
5) Do you currently integrate with [XYZ] vendor? If yes, please share examples of current customers using this integration.”
Draw Value out of Vendor Emails
By asking these questions early on, brands can gain the information necessary for evaluation. As we know, schedules are limited and there are only so many hours in a day. The tedious, continuous cycle of answering non-personalized vendor emails is time-consuming. Therefore, buyers should adopt a system to quickly and effectively identify a vendor’s value proposition via email, according to their needs.
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