The four-step email prospecting

If you’re into sales or business development, cold emails and phone calls are part and parcel of your life. And let’s face it, we would instead send cold emails than cold calls. But the reality is that most cold emails suck!

I delete 99.99% of all the cold emails I receive because they’re not well-written, definitely not personalized, or address my unique challenges/needs. As you can tell, the 0.01% of the emails I read and respond to meet the criteria above. But I rarely come across such messages.

The other day while reading Jeb Blount’s Virtual Selling, I came across an email template that I think can be highly effective in constructing emails that get read. It’s a four-step system that can help you crank out personalized emails in no time at all! Here you go:

  1. Hook — grab the reader’s attention with a compelling subject line and an opening statement. Remember, most of your readers are inundated with hundreds (if not thousands) of emails — solicited or unsolicited — every single day. Make yours count.
  2. Relate — this one’s so obvious, but not many people do it. You’ve got to let the reader feel that you’ve done your homework and that you understand their challenges. Empathy and authenticity are the keys.
  3. Bridge — connect their problems with your solutions, specifically, how you can help them. At this juncture, the reader is probably thinking, “what’s in it for me?” Address that head-on.
  4. Ask — don’t beat around the bush; get to the point and be clear about the action you want them to take. And remember, this isn’t the time to overcomplicate things. If all you want them to do is schedule a time, don’t ask them to download a PDF white paper and click on a link (among the 100 links in the document) to book a slot.

Did you notice the system doesn’t talk about your service offerings, features, benefits, pricing plan, or the typical stuff you would find in a brochure? It’s a simple message for a fellow human being that allows them space to think, decide, and act.

If you would like to see samples of emails that follow this format, I’m afraid; you will have to buy the book. Trust me; it will be worth your time and attention. I learned great insights about selling virtually given the situation we’re in right now. And I’m not even in sales!

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