Master your Sales Pitch with a Simple Email

I’ve never heard someone who’s excellent at business development complain about email. Not once.

Why?

Because they know that emails just simply mirror real life conversations. There’s actually very little difference between these 2 modes of communication and if you’ve mastered one, you’ll be able to do well at the other.

So let’s get down to the fundamentals of how to make sales communication work for you, whether it be through email or in-person.

There are 2 things you need to do to improve your game.

  • Research
  • More research
  • Presenting your research in a digestible way

To be successful at communicating, you must be incredibly prepared. The time you spend talking should be spent presenting fact based research specific to your audience’s interest; their company’s highest risk for not using your product and the highest reward possible for using your product. This should only take you two minutes or less. Here are the components for a successful in person meeting:

  • Icebreaker usually from a mutual contact / introduce yourself and what you do
  • Ask if you have 2 minutes for a question
  • Ask questions that show you’ve done ROI and fact based research on their company’s challenges
  • You’ll know if you’ve done the previous step right if you can explain what your solution does, how it solves your prospect’s biggest challenges, and the biggest rewards your prospect is looking to achieve.
  • You ask for what you’re looking for.

In the movie “Wedding Crashers”, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn crash weddings in the hopes of finding a mate for the evening. So what do they do to establish a line of credibility and trust with dads, grandmas and others at the wedding? Research. They quickly name-drop a distant relative and a few minor details about them to bypass a defense mechanism and gain instant credibility. Albeit on the slimiest premise possible, but the point of drawing an analogy to this is that your most successful emails will sound like the most successful in person conversations.

Your research should be credible and impressive to show that you appreciate the recipient. Give them the impression you took the time to understand their business and always present it in the form of fact based empirical data.

Is this information extremely difficult to find? Yes. Very difficult. It’s also difficult for the guys at the top but they don’t complain about it. In fact, they plan on most people complaining about it, that’s how they are able to maintain their advantage.

Here’s how to structure the email when you do find it:

How to write a sales email that works

About

is the CEO at Ecquire.

16 Comments

  • Jesse M says:

    Paul,

    Great article, I think that having credibility through an introduction really makes the difference between a warm conversation and the cliche sales pitch. In your potential meeting time links, is that timetrade or a similar app that you’re using? Also, in your links you list Tuesday, Friday, Wednesday, is the Wednesday the following week after Friday? It’s unclear to me because the dates aren’t mentioned.

  • James Doman says:

    The example email you provide could also be improved by using the correct spelling for you’re (p2,l5)

  • Corey Dilley says:

    Paul,

    Great article. I’m in the middle of writing a sales email to a list of leads right now and was looking for some inspiration. This did the trick.

    Have you found a more effective approach for mass emails, since the personalized intro and research don’t translate so well when talking to a group?

    Thanks,
    Corey

    • Paul DeJoe says:

      I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of Bonnaroo and we got to spend some time together over a weekend. He’s also a very accomplished music producer as well. I’m not sure you’d call us good friends and/or that I signed up for an email list of his. When I got an email from him about his newest artist that I should check out, the subject line and salutation were this respectively:

      Hello / About Trixie Whitley

      Hello friends, colleagues, co-conspirators, raconteurs, malcontents, angels, and demons ”

      The call to action was simple: Go check out Trixie’s show in NYC. Obviously, Ashley doesn’t have time to write 20K emails. None of us do. And everyone on that email list new it was a large list and they were not getting an individual email. But if you’re creative and genuine and respectful or even funny, you can get away with sending an email out to a large group. Where people get in trouble is when they don’t respect the recipient’s intelligence or time and abuse how easy it is to send thousands of emails at once.

  • Anthony says:

    Great idea to go to the extra mile with the meeting invites. How did you go about creating those in GMail?

    • Paul DeJoe says:

      Hey Anthony – thanks for commenting. I’ve gotten a few requests about that but those are not clickable links actually. While it’s not quite what you’re looking for, check out boomerangcalendar.com. It will help you cut out a few steps in proposing times.

    • Anthony says:

      Thanks for the tip. Also, does Ecquire support Zoho CRM?

  • Rahul Tomar says:

    Hey Paul,

    Nice article, I just founded a start-up, So, i’ve been researching on such sales pitch emails.
    I have a question, in your email, you’ve used some reference, some social connection, but what if don’t have any, what if i’m sending email to a stranger? and want to offer some business proposal.

    This is my case actually, i’ve to send emails to people i never knew.

    Thanks,
    Rahul Tomar
    Founder and Owner
    Whiteboard Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

    • Paul DeJoe says:

      Hey Rahul – great question. I realize it takes a while to build a network of resourceful and connected people so this type of article might not pertain if you’ve yet to do so. I would say that if it’s an important enough connection that you need to talk to, you should spend time researching them and what events they’re going to be at, what their interests are and knowing what challenges they’re facing that you could help with. Before I met David Cancel of Hubspot and Dan Levine from Box, I knew they were going to an event I was going to be at. I didn’t have any close connections to them. I sent them each a two sentence email that essentially said, “I’ll be at The Grow Conference and want to get your advice on what we’re building at Ecquire.” I sent this out two weeks prior to the event and they both responded saying they’d be happy to talk for 5 minutes. When I met them, they remembered the email. The takeaway from this response should be that cold emailing is really not scalable and if it’s an important enough connection, you can spend time doing research on what it is that piques their interest. The conversation you can have with someone still follows the same cadence as an effective email:

      1. Connect via a common interest or connection
      2. Ask if they have a minute
      3. highest risk for not using your product
      4. Highest reward for using your product and
      5. Ask them what it is that you want from them.

      Whether you have a connection in common or not, you can still impress someone by showing them your expertise in the space and with your research about their company’s challenges.

      Sound good?

  • Jeremy says:

    Quite insightful and helpful. I always felt that communication in an email has to be as good as one would communicate in person. This article confirms the same.

    Thank you

  • Brad Connor says:

    Hey Paul,

    Am into similar job where i have to send 3k mails per day, i have been trying my own ways to pitch & unfortunately couldn’t succeed. Your article is wonderful & i hope it will be my savior this time.

    My question is how do you research about each individuals when you gotta send 3k emails in a day? I mean how can i be so quick on research & make sure compiled list of emails results fruitful ?

    Warm regards,
    Brad Connor
    Business Development
    Driven IT Solutions

    • Paul DeJoe says:

      Hey Brad – thanks for the question it’s a good one. Sorry for delay here in responding.

      If you’re sending 3k emails/day, you may not have the price point for your product that’s conducive to this amount of research. In other words, I can do that amount of research because the Cost of Customer Acquisition makes sense to me but if my product was $5/month per user and I did that research, we wouldn’t have a company for long. Let’s say that you’re selling a product where the lifetime value is $5,000. A basic guide to follow is that you want to recoup at least the cost of your efforts within the first year and you want the lifetime value to be 3 times more than the cost to acquire this customer.

      If the lifetime value is $5,000 and the life of a customer is 5 years then that’s $1,000 in revenue each year. So I know I can spend $1,000 to acquire this customer. Everyone’s opportunity cost is different. You’re time might be worth $1,000/hour so you can only spend one hour trying to acquire this customer. In your case, if you’re sending out 3k emails/day, I’d first evaluate the lifetime value of the customer and how much I need to make within the first year. That will dictate the methods you can use to acquire customers. Research works the best for larger ticket items like in Pharma, Engergy, Finance and high end SaaS.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Ian Adams says:

    Great ideas Paul. I’d been thinking about this problem for a while( how to write emails that sell). There is definitely a framework to follow. One that I learned from my highest converting emails.

    http://senatorclub.co/how-to-write-emails-that-sell/

    Ian

    PS – Love the wedding crashers reference. And love the product! saves me so much time.

  • Paul DeJoe says:

    Thanks, Jessie. I agree. With regards to the timeframes, someone else asked me the same thing. I think there’s a demand for something like that but they’re just highlighted times. They’re not clickable. Does timetrade offer that functionality? If not, we should build it.

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