2 Emails You’re Sending That Rarely Work

Never say never? I try to not speak in absolutes and remain positive. But there are two flavors of cold emails you’re probably sending that do more harm than good.

Or, “Will you teach me about your business so I can see if there’s a fit with what I sell?”

Sounds funny right? That’s what you’re doing with each email trying to get on prospects’ calendars.

For example:

Hi Mike,

My name is Nick and I’m a co-founder at Smart Host. We help property managers optimize their pricing on marketplaces like HomeAway, VRBO, and Flipkey.

I wanted to learn how you currently handle price optimization and show you what we’re working on.

Are you available for a quick call tomorrow afternoon?

The above is signaling, “I am lazy and like the dozens of other sellers clogging your inbox every day.”

Nick also is showing customers “I have nothing to offer you in exchange for your valuable time… other than the chance for me to figure out if this will help you.”

(when there is relatively high probability it won’t … relative to your having done research)

Instead, be informed. Provoke.

Start Here With Your Emails

Suggest you have reason to believe what you sell is (or may be) needed. Suggest you can see impending disaster if the client doesn’t break status quo thinking. Provoke response by revealing what you’ve discovered — or not.

Both approach techniques work depending on what you sell.

I recognize your target market may not spend time blogging, commenting and leaving social media footprints to follow. You still have tools like:

  • Public databases (eg., regulatory, government)
  • Private databases (eg., DiscoverOrg, Siftery, DataFox, com)
  • Annual reports & 10Ks
  • The phone (primary research)
  • Google (trade publications, Google Alerts, etc.)

These are all places to mine for gold.

Throw out self-centered, lazy approaches. Break away from the pack.

Think about your customers’ inboxes. Daily, sellers pound them with premature meeting requests … all insulting clients’ intelligence.

“Meet with me — to see if my thing will help you.” (horrifying!)

Approach clients already:

  • knowing who is best to talk with
  • understanding how to solve a current problem and/or achieve a goal
  • suggesting impending disaster if staus quo remains

Be uncommon. Be refreshing. You may even be provocative.

The closer you get to how, when and where your solution can solve a problem the better chances you’ll have… from cold.

It may be difficult (even impossible) to surface the requisite pain or identify the goal only using email. However, you will at least be more effective at separating from the noise of daily inbox routines… to get an honest conversation started. (that can end up with a more informative call)

Do you sell to groups of decision-makers? Pre-identifying one, single contact is better than asking to be directed to one. Avoid being seen as not knowing. Better to be wrong than seen as lazy.

Bottom line: Doing homework proves to prospects you’re not lazy. It shows you’re not blasting emails looking for self-serving meetings.

You stand out. Sure, it takes time to do this. That’s entirely the point. Clients understand this.


Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

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