Making cold calls or sending cold emails are typically the last thing any entrepreneur wants to do.
On the flip side, most would-be clients don’t want to receive information from someone they don’t know.
But corporate client prospecting doesn’t have to be that challenging.
The good news is, you can spend ALL your time in what I call the “no cold calling zone”.
It’s a place from which you can generate leads without feeling salesy (and without your clients feeling like Herb Tarlek, the fictional slimy salesman for WKRP in Cincinnati TV show, is jumping all over them!).
It’s actually easy to warm up your cold communications
1. Lean on your network
You may have heard the saying “6 degrees of separation” which means that you could be 6 steps away from the person you want to meet. In my experience, it’s more like two. When you network in a smart and strategic way, you can meet new people and interested contacts through the people you already know. It’s a built-in lead generation tool that’s right in front of you.
2. Connect with meaning
When you open with something that instantly connects your prospect with content that’s relevant to them, they’ll be far more likely to be interested in what you have to say. In order to do this, you need to thoroughly research your prospect and plan out thoughtful emails that demonstrate you’ve read their LinkedIn Profile, website, latest annual report, etc.
3. Make the ask subtle but powerful
The best way to get a meeting with a decision maker in either a warm call or warm prospecting email is to make sure they understand how what you do intersects with the type of challenges they may be facing. You could say something like:
“At X company, I helped improve employee engagement by 15% and developed a new mentorship program that produces measurable results. I’d love to share some of my insights on how I could do this for you and your company. Would you have 30 minutes for a coffee or a phone call sometime in the next couple of weeks?”
4. Always make it about them
While it’s pretty obvious to both you and your prospect that you have something to offer them, never dominant any email or phone conversation by singing your own praises. You have to be tactful (re #3) in how you approach telling them what you do and how it will benefit them. The biggest benefit to them is in the tangible RESULTS you can give them for a pressing need they have right now. And you won’t get any farther than first base to uncover what that need is unless you play your cards right.
a) Here is a sample email structure template I continue to use today, with great success. It builds on the points above. You’ll quickly see why it’s the smart way to do your outreach!
b) In addition, here’s another excellent resource on the subject. It’s an oldie but a goodie that I still recommend to all my clients. How Clients Choose by David Maister.
Prospects hate to be sold to but love to buy from someone they trust. By staying in the no cold calling zone, you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting your foot in the door and beyond.
Kim Chernecki helps high-performing freelance executives, consultants, coaches and other experts, land lucrative corporate contracts. She is the creator of the Land Corporate Contracts Fast-Track System, and is a top-rated sales performance executive, facilitator, coach, advisor, speaker and strategist. A 25-year entrepreneur, Kim has consulted with executives from 100+ leading North American and Fortune 1000 companies and has, herself, started up and helped grow 10 businesses and business divisions. She’s closed millions of dollars in corporate contracts, and provides powerful strategies and proven formulas to help her clients do the same.