Yesterday's post revealed some insane statistics about after-hours emailing. I didn't point it out specifically, but the people most prone to be reading emails after-hours are people who make more than an average amount of money. Decision-makers, in other words.

That decision-makers are night-owl (and vacation) email readers represents a huge marketing opportunity, but that's when marketing and sales emails are most likely to be opened and read, because there's less competition from the workday hubbub.

Sending emails at the right time is one of many techniques I cover in my free weekly newsletter and that I teach in my twice-a-year-only free webinars. (Subscribe to the newsletter--there's a link at the bottom of this post--if you want a webinar invite.)

To give you an idea of what I share in my webinars, here's a nice little bit of sales email kung-fu that can help you develop a sales opportunity that otherwise might dead-end.

Let's suppose you've gotten an existing (happy) customer to recommend you to a potential new customer, and copy you on the recommendation email. That's a good thing to happen because opportunities that start with a recommendation are easy to close.

So far, so good. Recommendation earned, opportunity started.

You follow up immediately (another good bit of advice) and ask for a telephone meeting. (Frankly, I would approach the situation differently and wait until the NEXT email to ask for the meeting, but whatever.)

Rather than agreeing to meet with you, though, the potential customer replies with some variety of:

"Send me some information."

Upon reading this, you might be thinking: "Hooray! I'll send this potential customer some information, they'll read it and call me back!" But that's never going to happen because "send me some information" is just a polite way to blow you off.

All that's going to happen after you send that information is that you'll wait and wait and wait and wonder "why aren't they calling back?"

Fortunately, there's a way to segue "send me some information" into a customer meeting. You respond to the information request as follows:

"I'd be happy to send you some information. Could you spare a few minutes on the phone so I can best determine what information would be most useful?"

The exact wording is important. You don't try to set the appointment because that's asking the potential customer to look at their calendar and check times, which will remind them how busy they are and give them an opportunity to be distracted.

What you want is simple "YES" or "NO" response, because that only requires a couple of seconds of the potential customer's time. Plus a few thumb movements. The lower the barrier to responding, the more likely it is that you'll get a response.

One of three things will happen next:

  1. If they don't respond at all, you've lost nothing. You can still send some information (although it's probably not going to matter.)
  2. If they answer "NO," then you know that this person probably isn't a potential customer and you're probably wasting your time pursuing them.
  3. If they answer "YES," then you've gotten a commitment. Then and only then do you attempt to set an appointment for the call. They'll go through the hassle because they've made the commitment and nobody wants to make themselves into a liar.

This simple technique is just one of a dozen that I'll be covering in my free webinar "How to Get Meetings With C-Level Execs with Cold-Calling and Social Media." I only give this webinar every six months, so you if want to learn more email kung-fu, you should register.

How to register? Simply sign up for my newsletter using the "subscribe to email updates" link immediately below and you'll get an invite to the next webinar.