When I wrote the post, Approach Potential New Clients Without Cold Calling, I mentioned a letter you should send. Please read this post before you continue here so that you have the right context and know what to do with the letter.
Recently I was talking with a client I realized that although I know exactly what that letter should look like, she probably did not.
That is the inspiration for this post. To provide you with a structured guide to create an effective, non-salesy, and original letter that is in your voice.
“Why take a generic approach when you can take a personal one.” Click to Tweet
So once you’ve created a list of clients you’d love to work with it’s time to get in touch.
Ideally the goal is to get an introduction from someone you know. If that’s not possible you can still get in touch. You just need to do your homework first.
Start by doing some research and find out more about the person. You have to be interested in discovering what’s important to that person and to their company.
This is the ‘Ed’ principle which I talk about in networking as well. Don’t try to be interesting, instead be interested.
This letter can also be an opportunity to share with them how you think you might be able to help if that’s already clear to you from your research.
I highly recommend that you send your letter via the post, you know the old-fashioned way with an address and a stamp (snail mail).
Why? Because no one does this anymore so your message will stand out.
Writing Your Letter
If you’ve never met the person you may want to err on the side of formality and use last name only.
Dear Ms. Jacobs,
Make the letter all about the person you’re contacting. Start your letter talking about them, make it personal. Go to the company website and read it. Google the company and read everything you can find. Google the person, what comes up? Look at the person’s LinkedIn Profile. You want to be able to show her you’ve done your homework.
Congratulations on your recent award as one of the top female entrepreneurs in your industry. The growth that your company has achieved in the last years is truly remarkable.
As a leader in the area of outsourcing, you are probably asked to speak at conferences and events. Speaking is a fantastic opportunity to inspire your team, position yourself as an expert, and bring your business even more exposure.
This is where you want to share the problem and your solution, your valuable free giveaway (which you will also send her in the mail, post mail not email, with this letter). You can also mention that you are experienced in doing this kind of work.
But for speaking to be effective, it has to be done right. Even good speakers can always up their game. That’s why I’ve enclosed my free special report, The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Giving a Talk.
Being a brilliant speaker can be taught, I know because I’ve been coaching speakers for over ten years.
This is where you let the person know that you will be in touch with them to find out her response to your free valuable giveaway.
Your intention should not be about selling, it is to discover her thoughts about your the free giveaway. And if there is an interest in knowing more, you could propose to schedule a meeting to discuss things further.
If you find there isn’t an interest, that’s great too because your goal is to get to the truth. Check out my post on how to deal with ‘no’ here.
And if there is interest but it’s not the right time, you can ask if the person would like you to check back with her in six months.
I suggest you call the person because having a conversation is an effective way to understand the situation. And if you prefer not to call, you can send a message on LinkedIn.
I’ll call you next Wednesday to find out what you think about the information enclosed here. And feel free to contact me before then if you wish at (phone number) or (email).
I’ll send you a message on LinkedIn next week to find out what you think about the information enclosed here. And feel free to contact me before then if you wish at (phone number) or (email).
You can be as formal or informal as your industry and your personality allow for.
Remember to make the words your own; the example text here is just to give you a foundation to build from. Your letter can be longer or shorter. Say what you need to say, no more and no less.
And since you said in your letter you’d be calling (or sending a message), it won’t be unexpected. Again, your goal isn’t to sell anything when you call, it’s simply to find out what she thinks about the information you sent and if she’d like to know more.
You may be thinking this seems like a lot of work. I won’t say that it’s not. But think about how much time, energy, and money you spend now trying to reach random “people” that you don’t know. You’re out networking, buying advertising, and who knows what else.
Choosing your clients and approaching them personally and individually is much more effective and also more fun. Plus, it’s a genuine start to building a relationship.
I hope you’re starting to see that selecting the people you want to work with and reaching out to them makes a ton more sense than an impersonal, general approach.
© Stephanie Ward
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this information with it: Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to set create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ‘7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com.
Share your thoughts about how you approach new clients in the comments section below. I respond to every single comment.