B2B sales. The right way.
Learning new methods for sales can be tempting. But I’ve always preferred simple things. Like cooking at home instead of going to restaurants. Or using simple principles in sales. Because the best principles never change.
Sometimes we like to over-complicate things. It can be destructive. Especially in business – that’s why it’s important to remember that unless you’re Elon Musk, your sales process doesn’t have to include rocket science.
There are simple principles that you can apply to everyday life (and sales alike) to make more meaningful connections. That’s being Respectful, Cheerful, Transparent and Helpful.
Read on to apply these principles to something you’re probably doing already – sending cold emails￼, and check out our example email templates.
You don’t have time, your customers don’t have time, everybody seems to be working full-time, doing side-projects and volunteering for stuff all the time. Aren’t you?
Regardless of your answer, the fact that everybody’s busy is very important. Because it means that if your ultimate goal is only to sell something, then you are not (and never will be) the most important email to check, or call to make on people’s to-do lists.
So when you write an email, there is one important thing to consider first – will they have time to read a long, descriptive sales message with an attached PDF offer?
They won’t have time. You could find cases in which long emails work better, but sales influencers by and large promote writing messages that are brief, to the point, and respectful of your customer’s time. So be respectful of your customers time.
I know you’re very busy as <Professional_Title>, but I’ve been wanting to have a quick chat about bringing <Product> to <Company> because I think it could really help you.
If 15 minutes of your time isn’t too much to ask, then maybe we could jump on a quick Skype call to discuss this?
What’s important here, is that you make your intentions clear – to talk about bringing your product to their company – and instantly give a reason for it.
About a month ago, RyanAir surprised everyone with an email marketing campaign. Not only did it get a bit of viral traction, it was pretty effective in terms of sales as well.
Their messages poked fun at this years’ US election candidates in a smart, non-offensive way, and ended up shared on social media dozens of times.
The best topics for these messages obviously depend on what’s hot at the moment. But this winter I have a feeling that a lot of people are talking about Westworld – recently described as the defining show of 2016 by the Guardian.
NB: A topical email like this is something you can use as one of your follow-up emails, you should probably restrain from using this as an introduction email.
I’ve been watching Westworld lately and I’m not sure who’s a robot, and who isn’t anymore. But my system is telling me that our companies’ storylines might be connected.
There’s no maze, however – it’s really simple. I’d like to talk to you about <Product> for <Company>.
If that doesn’t look like anything to you – let me know and I won’t bother you anymore. And if this sounds weirdly familiar, maybe we could jump on a call?
The key to emails like this is to make sure they know you’re making a reference. This email starts with “I’ve been watching Westworld lately” for that reason. Don’t let anyone think you’re a teenager who now believes in all that happened in a TV show.
89% of consumers use Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or companies before buying. You should expect customers to research you, and prepare for it.
People will probably check out your website and Linkedin profile before replying to your email. If they don’t like what they see, the likelihood of getting a positive response gets much smaller.
Make it easy to research you with a transparent email that has your most important links. To pick the links, consider what your customers need to know before buying from you.
They probably need to know who you are, what you do, how much they’ll pay and what they’ll get.
Price is the last bit of customer validation that you need, and if you’re cold emailing someone, it’s not in great taste to start with the price and a “Buy Now” CTA. Especially in B2B.
All info about who you are should be in your footer. Some sales influencers even go as far as saying that introducing yourself at the beginning of your email is a waste of space.
So what are we left with in your sales email? What you do, and what your customers will get. What could an email focused on these 2 aspects (plus relevant links) look like?
Because we do <Product_Page_link>, I was looking for companies that might be in need of such a solution.
Visit our website – <Main_Page_link> to see what we’re up to, or skip straight to our FAQ section – <FAQ_Page_link> – to learn exactly what we can give you.
I’d love to jump on a call with you – if you have 15 minutes for a chat, please pick a suitable time slot in my <Calendar_link>. It will make it easy for us to connect.
Is it too much to add 4 links in one email? Some would say yes.I’d say that you’re increasing the probability that people click at least one of them.
What’s a ? That’s a link to your Appoint.ly – if you don’t have an account, create one now. It’s a lifesaving scheduling tool, and it gives your customers an easy option to book a time slot in your calendar.
CEB research showed that 53% of customer loyalty is driven by a salesperson’s ability to deliver unique insight to the customer. Translation – if you’re not teaching, you won’t be selling regularly.
But you can’t predict what your customers need help with when you’re cold emailing. So treat this email as more of an invitation to your own, personal AMA session.
Obviously it would work best if you have real experience that could help someone. Sales are becoming more about consulting and caring, and less about… selling. And sharing valuable information is the best kind of caring in the 21st century.
Cold email templates can become much warmer if you stop overselling, and show genuine interest in someone’s business – and a willingness to talk and share what you know. If you create content – this is the time to share your best bits.
I just wanted to tell you that I really love what you’re doing at <Company>. If I could ever help you in anything, that would be awesome!
You might find my experience in <Your_Experience_Domain> useful. I blog a bit about it – here’s a link <Content_Link> if you would like to check out if I’m the real deal.
I’d love to steal some of your time to talk about what you do. Would you mind, maybe at least a 15 minute call?
You’re showing interest, you want to listen about their company, and you’re offering help upfront. Nothing about you, your company, or your product.
This could be the most effective email of the bunch, because it is the most organic one.
Progressive salespeople know that content creation is their most important weapon in today’s sales environment. Content is a way to share what you know, to teach people, to spread your knowledge.
If you can create valuable content then it’s a sign that you’re not just a fool who got into sales because of a great suit and a positive attitude at the job interview – meaning that you’re worth talking to.
The 4 basic principles in sales are:
In cold emailing, they translate to:
Hope this helps you and your sales team. The basics are often the best. Stick to simple principles and don’t overcomplicate things – especially not for your customers.