The Need for Professionals to Win Work
As well as possessing world class technical skills and specialist knowledge, you’re probably also expected to contribute to the BD effort. Technically strong lawyers, accountants and similar professionals are commonplace. The dream ticket is coupling that with the ability to win work for the firm.
Delivering billable hours is one side to your contribution. The other is feeding the machine and bringing in new clients for yourself and others. If you want to become a better work winner and rain maker, you need get better at prospecting, relationship building and selling, Thankfully, this is all coachable with the right environment like the BD Academy.
The challenge for many busy professionals is (a) making the time for BD and (b) doing the right things in the time you’ve got. So what if there was a relatively easy and pain free way to fill your sales pipeline and hit your revenue targets with the least amount of effort? Well let’s consider cold emails.
Why Cold Emailing Still Works
A cold email is an approach to a prospect who doesn’t know who you are and isn’t expecting your approach. Like cold calling but using email. There are rules of course, with SPAM laws and such. But a personalised email approach that encourage a response and engages your prospect is a vital part of your BD arsenal.
Despite the overwhelming mass of email around, it is still a very effective method for communicating business information. You just have to be a lot smarter and more personalised with your approach. This more targeted mindset is sometimes called social selling, based on value, relationship and need.
Emails are a good way to say hello. They can kick start conversations. They can get you on the radars of the kind of people who can buy from you or introduce you. Emails are also good for nurturing a network. For keeping in touch and nudging prospects forward.
Like the telephone, emails work in the right hands. By constantly tweaking your scripts, approach, timings, and targets, you can become a very effective rainmaker with emails. And cold emails to ‘unsuspecting targets’ can work especially well if done right.
The Big Caveat on Cold Emailing
Of course, like any prospecting method, not all responses will be positive. A third may ignore your communication altogether. Of the rest, a third may be aggressive or negative. A definite ‘no, don’t ever contact me again. These are good in that they’re no longer taking up your time and attention. A door closing ‘no’ beats a never ending ‘maybe’.
A further third may give you a gentle rebuff (no, not now, not interested, already got something, happy where I am, thanks but no thanks). These are pleasant responses, though largely indifferent or ‘sat on the fence.’
Thankfully, the final third will be favourable. They are open to your approach, intrigued or curious about your ideas and happy to have a conversation. Your email could be brilliantly written, contain something value or just be the right idea at the right time. End result – these people make it all worthwhile.
Running the above numbers with say 100 prospects, you should be hitting double digit favourable response rates. Obviously much depends on the quality of your data and of your actual initial email. If a third don’t respond, that leaves 67. If a third of those open up a conversation, that’s around 20%. You’d take that.
Five Steps to a Successful Cold Email Campaign
Be strategic about your campaign. Attention to detail will significantly increase your chances of ‘getting a bite’. Here are the required five steps to a successful cold email campaign.
- Collect your data. You want to build an email list to send to. There are lots of ways to do this, including buying data.
- Craft your message. There are rules and scripts for this, which we cover in our BD Academy sessions. Generally, aim to be brief and make them curious. Not too many words. Not too ‘salesy’ or all about you. Any kind of personalisation helps too.
- Send your message. These can be done as part of a mail merge so it’s at least personalised to firstname.
- Follow up your message. You need some kind of CRM or response strategy to track replies.
- Have your conversation. Now you’re in the game. Getting them on the phone is a good start here, but even a simple email exchange can determine whether it’s worth having a longer conversation. A meeting might even be suggested, which is where the selling really starts.
The more conversations you start, the more opportunities you’ll create. That’s what fills your pipeline and helps you hit your revenue targets. Technically proficient professionals like lawyers and accountants, this can take some getting used to. But it’s not difficult, it’s not exhausting and it’s usually rather effective. To talk more about our inhouse BD Academy which teaches these skills, get in touch here>>