In a recent blog post, I talked about the How to Write Highly Effective Cold Emails.
The three variables of a highly effective cold email are: Research, Relevance, and Request.
In this blog post, I want us to talk about the foundational variable: Request.
Think about it. The reason why you send the cold email is actually to start a meaningful conversation, right?
It’s through a meaningful conversation (gotten through email) which will eventually lead to a meeting.
Especially in B2B sales, the meeting is where you actually build that relationship.
It’s in the meeting that you qualify, close the deal or actually solidify that partnership.
Cold Email Request and B2B Sales Appointment
In B2B sales, there are several types of request in your cold email.
The request is also your call to action (i.e. if the prospect/lead cares about your email, what action do you want them to take?)
You need to think really well about how you want the kind of call to the action you want people to take.
Here are some types of call to actions
|Type of outreach||CTA|
|Sales||To get a meeting/call|
To get an answer to a question
To get attendees to a webinar or event
To get downloads of a special report or ebook
To share information (no need for reply)
To invite to speak at an event
Business Development (for partnerships, speaking opportunities, etc)
The reason for a making a request
While it’s important to have a very strong call to action in your email, a lot of people are concerned about being impolite.
They feel that having a very concrete ask in their email is a sign that they are rude or obnoxious.
As a result, they say, “I don’t want to be too specific” or “I don’t want to ask something in an email because I want to be polite”.
But if you think about it, a poor or weak call to action is a form of disrespect of the person’s time.
In other words, you actually are not being mindful of the person’s time if you are not very definite and specific with the call to action in your email.
Essentially, having a strong call to action suggests you understand the decision maker is busy, you respect their time and so if they care about the message, they can do A, B or C.
How to frame your Request
Generally, there are three main ways you can frame a request. They are:
- Not specific
- Slightly specific
- Very specific
1. Not Specific
This type of request is generic. It has no specific time or date.
Examples of such request include:
- Are you interested?
- Are you open to chat?
- How about we get together to determine a fit?
- When can we have a call?
- Are you opened to some time to talk?
In the example of a real cold email I received above, the request is vague and unclear.
As explained in the video, we’ve found that the likelihood of getting a meeting is very low for requests like this.
Such requests place a lot of psychological burden on the recipient to think about whether they want to meet you or not.
Obviously, no one has time to talk to a stranger.
2. Slightly Specific
A second way you can frame your request is to give the prospect two options for a meeting.
- Are you opened Thursday 2 pm or next week Tuesday 1 pm?
- Should we meet at your office or speak briefly at next month’s conference?
- Will lunchtime or after work hours be convenient to review the ideas?
Giving options to the person really helps a lot.
It’s human. If the first alternative or option doesn’t work for me, I can consider the next alternative.
You actually help me.
You reduce the time I have to think.
The best part of this framing method is that if none of the options works, the person may say No or then propose a different option.
And both results are really good for your appointment setting goals.
Because with a No, you can either suggest a different option of focus your time on other accounts that will work.
If the person proposes a different time, it moves you a step closer to getting that appointment.
Either way, the result from this Request type leads you to something very concrete.
We found has a very good likelihood of getting you a meeting.
3. Very specific
The third option is to propose only one option for a meeting.
This is the type we’ve found to be really effective.
- “I’m open on Friday 9 pm, will that work for you?
- How about next week Tuesday lunch at The Narrows at 12 pm?
- I’ll call you tomorrow 3 pm to review for 15mins
This form of precision not only shows your keenness; it also demonstrates your attitude as a professional.
Again, people are afraid of getting a No on such a straightforward Request.
They worry: “What if the person says No?“
Well, the person’s response could be:
- “Yes, let’s do that I’m open for it” or
- “No, Friday is not good for it but how about XYZ?”
- “No, never”
Regardless, it still leads you to something very solid and concrete where you can still advance the conversation or you don’t.
You avoid being in the zone of “Maybes.”
Make the request specific
So these are three ways that you can frame your request.
You don’t want to be so vague.
You want to make sure that it’s really specific.
You want to be mindful of the person’s time so you suggest something that suggests that you are really proactive and a professional.
Implement these ideas and let me know how it’s working for you.
I will be happy to get your feedback and get some ideas from you as well – drop them in the comment section of this post.
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