Use Text Messages to Connect with Your Sphere
Who should listen: This episode is for sales professionals who want to optimize how they use text messages to connect with clients and prospects.
Key point: Best practices include: have clients’ consent to text, include a CTA, respond personally, respect their time, be the one to clearly end the conversation.
Action item: Pick five people in your sphere and send them a video text message. Next day, pick another five and do the same thing. Keep going!
When was the last time you ignored a text message?
If you’re like the majority of people, your answer may be “never.”
Did you know that text messages have a 98–99% open rate? Email averages about 20%.
And talk about fast—typically, text messages are read within five seconds of being received! Considering how often consumers go with the first business that contacts them, the speed-to-lead of text messages can’t be beat.
But maybe the best reason for using text messages to connect with your clients and prospects is this: text messages get 300% more affirmative responses than phone calls.
Companies around the world are taking notice and advantage of these numbers. A 2020 report indicated that 60% of businesses intend to increase their text marketing budget. By 2024, global spending on text marketing is predicted to be $83 billion.
Unless you’re a small business selling on Shopify or another e-commerce platform, you might not have the need or resources for a text message marketing service to the extent that larger companies do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t follow their lead and increase your use of text messages to connect with your sphere in meaningful ways that spark engagement and nurture relationships.
Tips and best practices for sending text messages to clients and prospects
Regardless of your profession or reason for sending a text message, there are some universal tips you should keep in mind when letting your thumbs do the talking:
- Make it personal: Texts are one-on-one communications, so they feel personal. Use your recipient’s name and send content that is relevant to them.
- Keep it short: One of the advantages of using text messages is that they are quick and easy. If you can’t say it in one or two lines, choose another medium.
- Be clear: Short doesn’t mean cryptic. First, avoid abbreviations and slang—not everyone will know what you mean.
- Be professional: Short also doesn’t mean curt. Pay attention to your tone—you don’t want to be unintentionally rude.
- Ask a question: It’s rare to find someone who, during a personal interaction, won’t respond to a question.
- Don’t send bad news: Text messages are not the way to communicate that a client’s portfolio took a hit, their house didn’t pass inspection, or their application was denied. Pick up the phone instead.
- Respond quickly: If a client or prospective client has reached out to you, respond as soon as possible, even if it is only to reply that you’ll get back to them.
- Respect their time: Unless it is a very close relationship or requires some urgency, send text messages during normal business hours.
- Include a CTA: As always, let your recipient know what you want them to do: get back to me, give me a time, confirm an address, check your email, etc.
You’ll know the people in your database and the nature of your relationship with them. You’ll know when it is okay to deviate from the guidelines above.
 Kenneth Burke, “5 Ways to Increase Sales with Text Messages,” Score, July 16, 2019, https://www.score.org/blog/5-ways-increase-sales-text-messages.
 Drew Wilkinson, “Text Message Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021,” SimpleTextin, November 9, 2020, https://simpletexting.com/text-message-marketing-trends-2021/.
Connect | Resources
Episode 183 with Michael Hellickson: #1 Agent in the Nation Shares Step-By-Step Secrets to Converting Leads.
Blog: When NOT to text your clients.
For our digital magazine clients: How to Send the Digital Edition by Text Message.