Matt Handal suggested a simple email structure to reach “unreachable” clients in his Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) web presentation. Much as I observed in the previous post on this program, the getting-in-touch process is deceptively simple; it is really easy to do if you have a valid, direct connection with the person with whom you wish to meet, and a valid, useful and easy-to-understand “hook” — meaning something of real value and relevance to offer.
In other words, while you could in theory go in cold, you need a really warm reason to make the connection — and so either you must have plenty of serendipity or prepare quite hard for the communication.
In that context, here is the email structure that works.
Note he suggests you should assume you will need to send four emails. The first one is the core email; the remaining three follow the same follow-up script. (Meaning, in fact, the real challenge will be to ensure you have the right contextual pretext for the initial email; the follow-up efforts will be truly simple.)
(The sample is based on an email to a pharmaceutical company preparing a new medical/research building project.)
Hi (name) recommended that I reach out to you;
Or, if you don’t have he specific name.
Hi, I was doing some research (on very specific aspect of the client’s work where you can help
My name is (Name) and i work for (organization)
I know you are planning to build a new surgery building. I thought it might be helpful to exchange trends on current surgery suite design.
Would you be open to a 15 minute phone call (or meeting)?
Handal says the email should be “very casual” — “more casual than most people feel comfortable sending.”
It is also extremely specific, because he says, “specificity is believability.”
As you can see, while the message follows a standard format, you cannot simply take it out of the can. You need to really know quite a bit about the person and project you wish to connect. Obviously, this is the opposite of marketing spam.
Yet Handal warns, the probability of an initial response is very low. In fact, “the goal of that initial email is not to get a response.”
The key is the follow-up, which is the same wording (above) with a top, set as a “forward” to the prospect.
“Hi bob, I’m just checking to see if you got the last email. It should take take a sec to review. And I’d love to know …..”
The same follow-up email would be sent three and seven days later.
When you get a response, you would invite (and suggest a couple of options) for a meeting about two weeks out, “and never on a Monday.”
Okay, there’s some email salesmanship going on here. But I think the key is you can’t just blast out the emails and hope something sticks. If the person you wish to meet will truly have the ability to move the decision forward, he/she will both be busy and certainly not interested in meeting a salesperson to hear a pitch. You’d better have something of real value to offer AND you had better really know as much as you can about why that person would be suitable to meet in the first place.
Like most quick and easy ideas in marketing and sales/business development, you really have to either put in the effort and/or (or more accurately have both) really have substance behind your message.