Did you know that nine out of 10 texts are read within three minutes of receipt?

Or that 98% of text messages are opened and read compared to only 22% of emails?

According to a study by Connect Mobile, both of those statistics are true. For salespeople, texting has become an increasingly effective way of communicating with customers and prospects. It’s quick, easy, and it’s much more likely to be read than emails. Text messaging can change the way you interact with prospects – in a very good way.

Why Texting is Effective for Sales

Texting is universal now and it is fast becoming an expected way of doing business. It’s a less intimidating method of communication for prospects and less stressful for salespeople. With people becoming more open to texting and social media messaging, they are able to save time, get their point across quickly, and make connections easily. Paula McKinney, a successful network marketer, also makes the point that “People aren’t answering their phones like they used to. Especially millennials between the ages of 18-34.” That means that in order to reach prospects in a manner they are most likely to see, read, and respond to, texting is the answer.

Tips for Sales Texting

As with any sales technique, there is a right way and wrong way to text effectively. The following tips are essential to remember when you break out your smartphone.

Have Good Timing

The key to using texting for sales is to have good timing. Though most texts are read within three minutes, getting a response is going to depend on when you send the message. In their blog post, 5 Ways to Get People to Text You Back, TextUs offers the following advice, “Though Americans are rarely away from their cellphones, some times of day are better than others for getting a text response. The majority of mobile users are more connected at home or on public transit than at work. Immediately before and after traditional business hours are prime times for texting. Catch these upticks with a well-timed message.”

Be Purposeful

Texting sales prospects should not be like texting your spouse or your best friend. Your texts must have a purpose and they must get to it quickly. Following up on a meeting, requesting more information, and delivering an offer are three great reasons for texting prospects. Just checking in or asking why a prospect hasn’t responded to an email you sent are not items you want to address via text.

Be Direct and Concise

Remember that when you are texting prospects you still need to be professional. A good rule of thumb is to keep your message to under 5 sentences and less than 250 characters. People text because it’s quick and to the point – otherwise they will send an email.

Use Proper Punctuation

Whatever you send by text is a reflection on your professionalism. Don’t use texting lingo, abbreviations, or emoticons in your sales texts. Make sure that your spelling is correct and that you use proper grammar and punctuation. And, by all means, check your texts before you hit send. Auto-correct and voice-to-text are convenient, but they often get your words wrong. Don’t send an embarrassing text because you didn’t look at it before sending it.

Be Responsive

You can easily set the tone for quick communication with a prospect by being responsive yourself. You can’t expect your customers to be prompt when you aren’t. Being responsive is just one easy way that you can establish trust and reliability with your customers.

Track Your Texts

Make sure that you enter your interactions with your prospects into your small business CRM. Texting may not be an activity that you are used to having to track, but there is often very useful information in that type of communication. Tracking activities is essential to providing your prospects with the highest level of customer service in the future.

Final Thoughts on Texting for Sales

When you are using the right texting strategies, you will create more closed deals. Use the above tips, remember that although texting may have been an informal mode of communication in the past, it needs to be professional now, and make sure your texts are relevant and brief, and you will see an increase in converted sales.

Jami Deloe