20

Text Messaging

Sometimes I text the “wrong” person … on purpose. Just to start a conversation.

—Frank Warren

Here's a fun game to play at your next gathering of friends and family. Ask them how they feel about salespeople using text messages for prospecting. Then sit back and watch the fireworks. You'll likely start a heated, expletive-laden argument. My wife, for example, upon learning that I was writing a chapter on text message prospecting, said (in a holier-than-thou tone), “I can't believe you are teaching salespeople to do that—you are pure evil!”

That sentiment correlates to the reception I get when opening up discussions on texting as a prospecting tool. It's the third rail of sales prospecting and a concept that I approach lightly. The mere mentioning of text as a prospecting tool causes negative reactions, from “I don't think that will work for our prospect base” to pure revulsion.

I get it, because it makes sense. We can all relate. We don't want our text message inbox to be filled with texts from salespeople, either.

This is due to a weird irony. Text messaging as a communication channel is impersonal because it lacks the emotional connectivity of face-to-face and verbal communication, yet it feels extremely personal. Text has become the go-to medium for communication with family, friends, and coworkers and a haven on our phones that is typically not touched by spam or outside influence. The people we text with are most often people we know—even when it is business. ...

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