You know what your product can do, you know who you want to sell to and you now know the person you need to connect with to talk about it. Should we call first? People are not receptive to receiving a call from a stranger asking for a meeting. It would be better to first send the person a mail, establish contact and then call, referring to the mail. This would help to get a better reception and also convey the details in advance.
But the challenge is getting the email address and ensuring it is read.
One can use many ways to get the email address. What has always worked for me is to call the board number and use ‘Seminar’ or sending a ‘Request for a Meeting’ to get the person’s email id. People will not share mobile numbers but given the above reasons they do not mind sharing the email address.
To ensure your mail does not get deleted as spam and is read by the person concerned:
Have a subject line that will make the person open the mail. Please let it not be something like ‘A Solution to help you SAVE Money’ or some such corny line, which is a dead giveaway that this is spam. It will straight hit the recycle bin. I have found that a ‘Request for a Meeting’ normally intrigues people to atleast open the mail. To this you may add some specifics like ‘Request a Meeting – To discuss solution to reduce time to on-board new employees’. Such a subject line also talks of possible, quantifiable benefits.
Address the mail to the relevant person. Identify the relevant person for whom your product/solution could be of interest and address him by name, ‘Dear Mr. XYZ’, and NOT ‘Dear Sir’. Brings in a personal touch. I know I may be pointing out the obvious, but trust me I receive a lot of such mails with ‘Dear Sir’.
First apologise for the unsolicited mail and then the rest of the first para should definitely touch on the potential pain point, your solution, the benefits it can deliver and all this in not more than two or three lines. This is what will make the person read the rest of the mail. Eg. ‘Typically companies take anything between 6 – 18 hours to successfully on-board a new employee. Our (use your company name) solution (give solution name) can enable the same in just 45 minutes through process automation’. If this is addressed to either the HR Head or the CTO, you can rest assured he is going to read the rest of the mail.
Next para should quickly list the key features and benefits.
Thereafter a brief introduction to your company and lastly a Request for Meeting.
MOST IMP: The entire mail should appear in one single window. That means the person should not need to scroll and can view your entire mail and your signature in one single view. The moment the reader feels the need to scroll, chances are the mail may not be read.
Follow this up with another mail 2-3 day later referring to this mail and the subject and again requesting for a meeting. Thereafter when you call the person a day or two later, the chances are good that you will be heard and also end the conversation with some positive follow-up action.