Basics of a sales cold email: How to get an appointment with any prospective customers?

Every traveling salesperson is aware of the importance of getting appointments with prospective customers and meeting as many prospective customers as possible, especially if traveling to new a place. I don’t want to explain any further on how important it is to meet the prospective customers face to face to close more deals.

cold emails have 2X higher ROI compared to cold calling.

The advantage of cold emails over cold calling is that you can schedule multiple appointments with a single email draft and the major advantage is, emails are not intrusive, whereas cold calls are. Many of us (including myself) hate receiving a cold call when I am focused on my tasks.

A perfect sales cold email’s job can be broken into simple steps,

  • First, Grab attention.

  • Second, Retain attention.

  • Third and the most important, drive them to take an action.

That’s it! if you can design a cold email system which does the three functions, you can get as many appointments as possible. There is no secret about this.

Let’s take this a bit further with an example. The blanks spaces in the template below should be filled with your information.

Part I: Grab prospect’s Attention:

Subject line: Subject line should convey the goal of the email and as specific as possible without phrasing like a marketing email. Using the prospect’s business jargon and pain point would make the difference.

Subject : Would like to meet to discuss about ___ ?

   For an example, if I am dealing with a Microbiologist, I prefer to use the word “Streptococcus Bacillus” not “Bacteria”. Bacteria is a generic for a Microbiologist, whereas Streptococcus Bacillus is a specific word for a Microbiologist to generate interest.

When a prospective customer sees business jargon or their pain point, they pay more attention to the subject line. Make sure that the jargon and the pain point are related to prospective customer’s core interest.

The body of the email:

The introduction about yourself should be as short as possible. You are still a stranger to the prospective customer. No reason to talk much about yourself. Remember, it should always be about the prospective customer’s needs.

“About yourself” : I am ___ and I am a ___ at __.

The second part is showing interest in prospect's work or business. This should not be a more than 2-3 sentences. When a prospective customer read this part, they will know that you have done your homework and this is not some kind of spam email they receive every day. Pay a great attention to this part as this is the “hook” for the next part. If you screw this, the prospective customer is going to delete the email immediately.

“Interest in their business or work” : I've been reading your company’s
(or your)work in ___ & understand that you're trying to solve ___
by doing __.

Part II: Retain Attention:

This is the most important part of the email. Always remember that the value proposition differs from customer to customer.

“Value Proposition to the prospect" : I'm emailing you because we have
helped ___ and __ overcome/solve ___ and therefore,  it has resulted
in the growth of  __ by __% (or reduction of __ by __ %).

   Make sure that your product is providing the “value” that prospective customer would really care.

If you are unsure about the value proposition, you can target same buyer personas based on your previous sales.

"Proof of value proposition" : Here is the data to show ___.

Any data (such as infographic etc) showing the value proposition would be good. There are many DIY data visualization tools that you can use.

Pictorial representation of value proposition should be  preferred as human brain processes pictures 60,000X faster than text.

Redirect  and reiterate the benefit: I am positive that you would
also ___from___ similar to __.

You should be able to explain why something that worked for someone else would also work for them. Don’t try too hard. Keep it simple and to the point. 2-3 sentences are enough. You can mention about a mutually known acquaintance (within the same market segment) who is your customer, and how they have benefited from your product as an example. But before mentioning any customer’s details, please check if the customer is OK with disclosing their details for reference purposes. If not, find a customer who is happy to be your reference.

Part III: Drive then to action.

"Ask for an appointment": I am going to be at __ (specific location) on
 __ (date)at __ (time), otherwise, let me know the best possible time
on __ (date) to meet you. This meeting would take less than  __ minutes


Your name and your contact details.

Make the schedule as specific as possible and give them an option to reschedule if necessary. You can have a better chance of securing the meeting If you inform the prospective customer that the meeting won’t take a lot of time.

There are many free email tools that you can use to send mass customized emails and automate the entire process without much effort. The best part about this method is, you can see who has opened the email and who did not. You can send a different set of follow-up emails or make calls based on the response.

You can change the wording and the sentences of the above template based on your need and style. But the structure of the email should remain the same to have the maximum ROI.

Happy selling!