It doesn’t have to be this hard…
Once i realized that cold-calling doesn’t work, I knew it was time to change the game, and in a big way. I was determined to never make another cold-call again, and I haven’t looked back since. Instead of defining myself by the success of my cold-calls, I created a new identity – part corporate sleuth, part selling ninja. Before I tell you how to do the same, let me give you a little background on my transition.
After I decided to quit cold-calling cold-turkey, I began developing my cold-emailing strategy. It’s a billion times more effective than cold-calling (literally 1,000,000,000x more effective – I crunched the numbers). Ok, so in all honesty it may not be a billion times more effective — but it sure feels like it. Not only will you be able to get responses from 80% of the clients you reach out to, but cold-emailing ensures that you only put in work with clients that can actually pay you – and pay you BIG.
Bad news: in order to be successful with cold emailing, you’re going to need the email addresses of multiple VPs and C-level executives at target companies. Without those, you’re going to have a hard time getting started. You also won’t find their names listed in bold letters on the company’s homepage.
Good news: it’s actually really, really easy to find those emails: I’m talking 15 minutes or less.
First things first: Are you willing to pay for an email address?
If the answer is yes…. here are my top paid resources:
- The List
- Advertising Database
- Jigsaw (SalesForce)
- Dun & Bradstreet
These resources will also paint a more in depth picture of the company and offer other valuable information.
Obviously, paying for an email address is also the fastest way to gain access.
But, if you’re willing to spend just a bit of time and effort – I’ll show you how to find any address for free.
Keep in mind that once you master these tactics you can always delegate the research to – an intern, a virtual assistant (I recommend VirtualCoworker.com) or someone else.
Tactic 1: Go to the company website. (3 minutes)
This one’s kind of obvious – but it’s the best place to start.
Begin by finding the webpage of the company your target works for.
Once you’re there check out the About Us page, the News page and the Contact Us page.
The “About” page will provide you with the names of executives and key employees. (sometimes emails will be listed here as well)
The “News” page will often have a PR contact’s email listed in their articles – if the email includes the person’s name, you’ve struck gold.
If neither of those pages had any useful info, try the “Contact” page. If no email is listed but there’s an embedded contact form, you can fill out the form using your non-business email. Then input random text to see if they have an auto-responder. Sometimes the auto-responder will provide you with the company’s email format.
Stop guessing their budget…you’re throwing money away.
When I started off in sales, I would go to a meeting and then FREEZE when it came down to talking money.
I would try and disguise the dollar amount in cheesy ways like saying “this will cost 50-K” instead of saying “This will cost fifty thousand dollars.”
But the main mistake I was making was not first ASKING the client what they’re expectations were. I’d just present everything to them first, and pray to Jesus/Allah/Buddah that I got something out of it.
I later learned that if the client asks the question, “So how much does this cost?” it meant I was no longer controlling the situation.
Anyhow… after a few years I finally discovered what’s known as “The Bucket Technique.”
This technique is a framework for finding out how much your client is willing to spend.
THIS IS A DAMN IMPORTANT CONCEPT because it will save you from endless proposals that go nowhere, and find out how much your client is willing to spend.
STEP 1 of The Bucket Technique: Asking the “setup question”
In your initial meeting with the prospect, if you’re seeing signs they like what they see… you ask this magic question:
“What’s your budget?”
We can even modify that question a few ways like this:
“What do you typically budget for something like this?”
“You seem interested, do you have a budget for something like this?”
Basically, this is a setup question. Almost certainly they never just throw out a number. This question is to just see how motivated they are as a buyer.
Watch for their reaction.
BAD ANSWERS… SIGNS YOU SHOULD RUN:
“Well, all new projects are on hold right now.” (I heard this one from Sprint).
“You know, we’re really just looking.” (This means they’re just shopping around and using you for free information).
“We’re just in research mode.” (This means they’re not ready to spend money).
GOOD ANSWERS… SIGNS THIS MIGHT GO WELL:
“I don’t know.”
“For something like this we’d typically budget around $150,000.”
Let me show you a real-life example from recent history:
Take the stress out of following up…
Here’s a scenario we’re all familiar with: you spend hours crafting the perfect pitch email, click send, and then spend the next 48 hours wondering if they got the email, wondering if they opened it, wondering when (or if) they’ll respond back to you, wondering if she thought your hair looked stupid – wait, what? After a while you start to feel a little bit crazy.
Trust me, you’re not crazy. There’s actually software that (among other things) will do all of that worrying for you, and let you know what the status of your email is with the recipient.
Here’s my 3 favorite email tools:
3 Top Email Management Tools
Followup.cc is a great way to help you manage your follow ups. When you have a business or are in a sales job, you don’t want to be the schmo that never follows up in a timely manner. This is money in your pocket you are just throwing away.
With Followup.cc you simply use your email’s To Field, CC, or BCC (blind carbon copy) to indicate to FollowUp when you want to be notified to follow up and you will get a notification when that arrives along with the email you originally sent. If you use anything other than the BCC field all of the recipients will also get a reminder.
The service works literally on any email service you use, whether it is your own private email server, your company’s server or a free email service like Gmail (which it incorporates beautifully with by the way).
Here is an example of how to use followup.cc:
mi = minutes, h = hours, d = days, w = weeks, mo = months, y = years
You can write them out in short form, “h”, or long form, “hours”, it doesn’t matter.
Note: You can also combine them, so you could say firstname.lastname@example.org [which is 2 days 6 hours from now]
There are more ways to use followup.cc such as tagging where you can combine email topics based on the tags. Let’s say you have a big client and you want to keep those emails coordinated, you can tag them with the client name:
Followup.cc also integrates with Salesforce. This is a really cool feature in my book – you can set a reminder on an outgoing email and Followup.cc will create the contact in SalesForce if it doesn’t exist and attach the email to the record as well as set a SalesForce task to follow up based on the reminder you set on the initial email through FollowUp.cc.