(Part 2 of 3)
This is the second article in the editing consultant’s prospecting emails series.
The first article introduced Rapid Context Setting as a way of gaining the prospects attention. Someone asked me if I had examples of emails where consultants got this wrong. Disclosing specifics isn’t appropriate, but the most common mistake I see is the self-referenced email. These are full of statements like this:
- I noticed …
- I wanted to …
- I’m reaching out …
Anything that says I, we, or our, really. Moving on …
Lesson 2: Matter of Interest
Typically consultant emails I’ve edited attempt to sell credibility. They write about what they do, who they’ve worked with, and the awards they’ve won. Things like:
We’re a digital agency specialising in social media campaigns …
We’re got 10 years in executive team development working with …
You know the kind of thing. You might even have sent this type of email yourself. They don’t work. Sorry to deliver the bad news, but your prospect isn’t interested in what you do, or your consultancy achievements.
Yes, occasionally these statements hit a prospect at exactly the right time and they’ll contact you. More likely though …. they’ll swipe left. Delete.
A better approach is to focus entirely on the likely issues and opportunities the prospect has. That’s what they’re interested in.
What does that look like?
Here are the three different examples from last week, now fleshed out to follow the attention grabbing opening with a paragraph that develops interest.
Notice how each addresses a Matter of Interest for the prospect, as a means of positioning the consultant’s expertise. The emails get the prospect’s head nodding because their thinking, “this person really gets it”. That’s what convinces them you’re worthy of more of their time. That’s the outcome you’re aiming for.
i) The referral email
This email starts with the referral connection and quickly moves into a dialogue about the importance of high-value projects for growing consultancies. It builds interest by mentioning three areas that can hamper growth efforts and then hints at another 6 areas that need consideration. The curiosity to know what these creates desire for a proper conversation.
James Davidson suggested we speak about sales growth
James said you want to double revenues at SPN within 3 years. Several consultancy teams achieved similar results after we’d worked together. He thought you’d be interested in that.
New high-fee projects are vitally important to growth. And you’ll find client loyalty, resourcing, and influential C-level relationships impact your ability to win these. In fact there are another half-a-dozen areas in total that you might want to consider.
If you’re interested in a conversation about this please let me know, my number is 07801 106 061.
ii) The event email
The second email is a cold contact. It gets attention using a critical event that’s a Matter of Interest for the prospect. There’s a smart piece of name dropping that develops this interest by referencing a similar high-profile situation, where there was a high-risk of disenfranchising key executives. And the offer to share what was learnt in a 1-page summary (1-page for a busy C-level executive). This may convince the prospect to make contact.
Acquired executives sink or swim
On-boarding for EMCA Digital’s executives must be high on your agenda following the recent acquisition.
Do you know Donna Fisher, she’s the CEO at Jacobson Pharmaceuticals? They’ve just completed an on boarding project for their joint venture with PJ Chemicals. We worked with Donna to capture some of the critical learning from the experience – particularly around retaining high-potential executives.
If you’re interested in learning more about this please let me know by email. I’ll forward a copy of the 1-page summary report.
iii) The strategy hijack email
The final email is also a cold contact. This one gets attention using acknowledgement of the prospect’s ambition. Setting standards and high-performance are a Matter of Interest for them and the email continues by connecting the consultant’s discoveries as directly relevant to these. An executive briefing for the prospect’s team may be a compelling offer that captures executive’s imagination. The offer is useful, low key, and non-pushy.
Setting new standards for retail procurement
The article in the Grocer said your ambition is to set new standards for retail procurement. This transformation is a huge challenge, which is why I’m writing to you.
I have an executive briefing your team might find useful, it covers 5 things we’ve discovered coaching teams to higher performance – one of which is standard setting.
I’ve attached a 1-page summary. If you’d like more details – after you’ve read it – please drop me an email.
You can see in each example how a Matter of Interest encourages the prospect to keep reading by keeping their mind open (Note: A bullet point list of services does the opposite). It makes it easier for them to be convinced by your offer when your email resonates with their experience and priorities. If it doesn’t then at least you’ve positioned yourself as a business advisor, not as a services vendor. In future dealings that could make a massive difference
In the third article you’ll discover how best to follow-up when prospects don’t reply to your initial email. Until then.
The bottom line
High-level decision makers aren’t looking for consultancy. They want external advisory and execution partners who help them create value. And that’s what your outreach emails must position – your thinking and ability to create value.