A friend recently asked for an introduction to a senior executive at a large organization in the hopes of partnering with them. His company has some new products and services that he believes make sense, and the LargeCo. executive seems like a good audience to meet with. As with many topics I cover, when I find myself sharing the same thing over and over I turn it into a blog post to reference/share/learn publicly from.
In this case the intro was made and my friend followed up with a factsheet (PDF) about the products/services + a note all about his company and wanting to partner. There was a generic tone about it being a fit for her company and a general open ended ask to speak or meet.
Doing the introduction meant I am on the email thread and it was a good chance to provide feedback that I have seen yield better response rates, better partnership results, and work that compounds over time.
For starters, it’s good to know who the person is within an organization and all about her team. Next, it should go without saying at this point that the person requesting time + energy on something should be giving clear and simple choices for 3 days and 3 times (a personal favorite).
Researching the prospect + company
Related to the outreach I recommend the following strategy:
- Spend some time researching the companies most recent initiatives (or that of the department you are after) and explain, in plain language, how your product/service will help them achieve that vision
- Spend some time researching the person and try to get an idea of what will make them succeed this month/quarter/year
- Clearly explain why a partnership/purchase/beta test would make sense – better to spend 20 minutes researching this answer and going out to 5 prospects than email blasting 100
- If you start to spend time with the person, understand what is going to make them indispensable to their team – things that help their career and goals will ultimately identify if you are solving a real problem for them or not
- Articulate the value of “first” or benefit of “follow” – if this is the first time you are doing this kind of partnership – show the value of why. If this is something that has been done before by others – show the results. De-risking a decision for a large company can be extremely helpful.
If you can deliver value and solve a real problem, it is best to get that message out and delivered early. It is too easy to get ignored as another sales call or drip email campaign, always better to stand out.
Given my own outreach strategies and tactics mileage may vary, but after changing my own behavior to match the above I can share that this worked very well for me.Tags: Business development, email outreach, Sales