Many of us retreat when we hear the words “cold call” or “cold email.” But as an entrepreneur -- or an aspiring entrepreneur -- you’ve got to put your fears aside. If you don’t, you’ll likely miss out on some great opportunities.
Sending emails to your idols or people you’ve never met is a great way to network, get referrals, share your story and build a business. One of these connections could lay the groundwork for your success.
If you’re on the fence about sending a cold email, ask yourself: "What do I have to lose?" Maybe that person won’t respond, but if you never send the email, you definitely won't get a response. So put your fears aside -- here’s why you should make it your 2017 goal to start emailing your idols.
Create your own opportunities.
Don’t bank on someone else to connect you with a person. Instead, rely on yourself. By sending a cold email, you can start a conversation with nearly anyone, says Heather R. Morgan, CEO and founder of Salesfolk.
Connect with someone quickly.
Cold emailing is the most effective way to reach someone that you’ve never met before, says Agent Beta founder Andrew Medal, a serial entrepreneur.
“As the world becomes more connected, and the degrees of separation become smaller, we can almost always find a way to get an intro to someone,” he says.
There’s no excuse to not reach out, given that the person's contact information can be found somewhere or somehow. If you don’t know where to start, try LinkedIn, Streak, Rapportive or Hunter, Medal advises.
Get career advice.
When Liz Wessel, a former Google employee and co-founder and CEO of job site platform WayUp, finished up college, she had the choice between a job at a venture capitalist firm or a position at Google. Unsure which to take, Wessel decided to cold email one of world's top VC investors, Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital, for advice. Guess what? He responded, advising her to take the position at Google.
After that, “the rest was history,” Wessel told Business Insider. That simple email helped shape her career and her life.
Get new customers.
And a great, inexpensive way to do that is through cold emailing. In fact, sometimes cold emailing can save a business. When one of Patel’s startups was running out of cash, he decided to send out cold emails to executives. One of those executives was the co-founder of Airbnb, who -- within a month -- locked in a consulting contract with Patel for $240,000.
Establish connections for the future.
After sending out a cold email to a billionaire tech CEO, Morgan of Salesfolk arranged a coffee meeting with him. Although there wasn't anything specific she needed from him, she thought of ideas and what she could offer him in order to get him to sit down with her. Luckily, her technique worked -- he later invited her to his home for a dinner party.
"Because of this cold email, I now have a valuable contact in my network that I could call up in the future if I had reason to,” she says.
Related: Why Won't You Respond to My Emails?
By building your network and expanding your contact list -- whether you have something to sell or not -- you’re better equipping yourself for anything that may come up in the future.
Follow these tips.
Sending a cold email may sound like a daunting task, but with these simple tips it doesn’t have to be.
- Understand who your recipients are. Ask yourself questions such as: What do they want and/or need? How do they think? Who do they admire? What motivates them?
- Utilize tools such as LinkedIn, Hunter, Rapportive and Streak.
- Don’t capitalize your subject line. This will make you seem more human.
- Do your research. Figure out if you have any common interests and try to establish a mutual ground.
- Be descriptive in your copy. Don’t just try to sell to that person, tell him or her how you can help.
- Keep the message short and to the point. People are busy!