Cold-calling has gotten a bad rap in many circles lately, mainly because of the fact the interruption caused to the prospect is seen as simply that...an uncalled for intrusion into their working day.
Most salespeople these days attempt to turn the cold-call into a warm lead by finding out lots about the prospect before calling them, so they know some valuable information about them and can use that somewhere in the conversation.
The challenge is that often you don’t even get through to the decision-maker and that research goes to waste. But does it have to?
An up-front email may help you to arouse interest in the prospect before calling them. It must, though, be personalised in name and content. A blanket email that is obviously going to hundreds or thousands of prospects will not get very far with most prospects.
It needs to grab attention quickly and effectively. It needs to talk the prospect’s language. It needs to mention the challenges or opportunities they are facing.
All this takes time and research, but it means you will be appealing to more people, not less.
An example opening would be something like:
“Hi Bill. I thought you may be interested in hearing about how another business owner like you was able to get new business and maintain them at a high lifetime value...”
You see how this first attention-grabber goes straight to the bottom-line, telling your prospect exactly what the email is about and talking about them, not you.
Too many emails start of by saying “We are a multi-national company who blah-blah-blah”. The prospect immediately thinks “Thanks, but no thanks!”
An introductory sentence should be all about them. Then, share a success story, talking about facts and figures that are real. It only takes a short paragraph; you don’t need to go into reams and reams of detail here. You’re not trying to sell anything here except interest in talking to you.
Next, mention how some of your services will help the client to improve their business. Again, it shouldn’t be long and drawn out; two or three ways is sufficient to pique their interest. You might want to share a testimonial, if it’s from a similar business to the prospect’s.
End with a promise to call the prospect.
Remember what the entire purpose of the pre-call email is: to create desire to talk to you.
A simple list of who you are and what you do won’t crack the code. The prospect is not interested in you, your company or your products. They are only interested in short and long-term benefits to their company.
Make the email sound like you’ve done your homework on their specific business (which, of course, you should have done!).
By personalising everything, you have a much better chance of getting through to the decision-maker when you make the call. And, naturally, when the gatekeeper asks if the decision-maker is expecting your call, you can truthfully and honestly say “Yes, they are!”
By Sean McPheat, Founder and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training, sales training specialists.