How Not to Cold-Text Your Sales Prospects

While the idea of getting a text from a sales professional may seem a little out of the ordinary, the rise of remote and hybrid work means sales reps are turning to text messaging more than ever. 

And, as it turns out, there are some very real benefits to using text as part of your prospecting strategy.

Sure, being ghosted by your prospect is certainly a possibility. But at the very least, it gets your message read — and faster than if it had been sent via email. 

Benefits of Cold Texting

In a recent ZoomInfo poll on LinkedIn, 65% of respondents said they cold-text prospects — and gave some compelling reasons to consider the practice: 

  • Text reminders for upcoming meetings can help to increase show rate 
  • More likely your message will get read in a timely manner
  • Everybody has their cell phone at home — and are more likely to check it regardless of how chaotic their work from home days are
  • Texts make it easier for clients to get ahold of you when they have your cell number and can simply shoot you a text if they have a question or concern

But what about best practices? Is there a rulebook for this sort of thing? Where do we stand on the use of emojis? Text outreach is a whole new ballgame, and we’re just starting to figure out the rules.  

How Not to Cold Text Your Sales Prospects

Texting certainly allows you to be more casual with your outreach, but that doesn’t mean it should be filled with flame emojis or “OMG” shorthand. Here are a few no-no’s when it comes to contacting sales prospecting via text message: 

  • Don’t Write a Novel: Keep it short.
  • Don’t be Overly Casual: Even though the method is more casual, you should strive to maintain a professional approach. Maybe there’s a time and a place for a smiley face, but don’t get too cute. 
  • Don’t Use Text Shorthand: brb, lol, numbers instead of words — this kind of lingo can come across as unprofessional or spammy. 

How to Cold Text Your Sales Prospects 

Now that we know it’s A-okay to send texts to your sales prospects, it’s time to start thinking about some best practices for the technique. 

  • Follow the KISS Model: “Keep it simple, stupid.”
  • Keep Texts Clean and Concise: The whole benefit of texting is that it’s a quicker, more efficient way to reach prospects.  
  • Be Mindful of Area Codes and Time Zones: Just like with a phone call, make sure you aren’t reaching out outside of business hours. It’s likely that someone is out of “work mode” when they get your late-night text, and won’t respond at all. 
  • Put Yourself in Their Shoes: How would you like to be cold texted by a salesperson? Think of the kinds of messages you’d be more likely to respond to rather than the ones you would immediately ignore.
  • Ask for Permission: If this is your first time texting, introduce yourself and give them a way out. Texting should always be opt-in. Ask if it would be OK to contact them via text after you’ve established a decent rapport. 

Texting is stronger after already connecting over the phone. Using texts as a reminder for a demo, or other softer touches, is a positive experience. 

Most people live on their smartphones, so to get a response from a prospect we need to understand what they see — it’s probably a one-line preview on the lock screen.  Make the first sentence count, every time.

So, Should You Text Sales Prospects?

Pre-COVID, texting sales prospects may have been a huge faux pas. But now, sales reps are singing its praises. 

When it comes to sales, realizing that change is always happening is crucial. If you don’t, you risk getting left behind.

So the next time you need to send a reminder to a prospect about an upcoming demo meeting, think twice before picking up the phone.

Do your homework first — and maybe shoot them a text.