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Jul 26, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Doing Research Before Cold Emails and Calls I Medium

The Ultimate Guide to Doing Research Before Cold Emails and Calls

Zak Slayback

Doing Research Works. The Better Your Research, The Better Your Replies

I recently met a number of young professionals at an event who asked me how, when it comes to sending cold emails, they could send 1000 more every day. I asked them why they wanted to do that. Inevitably, the answer came back to “isn’t it always better to do more outreach?”
It’s not.
It’s better to do more quality outreach. Sending cold emails won’t help your job search or sales cycle if every email you send gets ignored by Very Busy People. Emails that look like spam (i.e., the kind of email somebody sends 1000 times in a day) get ignored by the vast majority of Very Busy People you want to talk to.
Doing quality outreach means doing research on your targets before you email them. This research does a few things.
  1. It prevents you from putting your foot in your mouth when you email them. I get people sending cold emails to me for ICOs telling me that they think they’re relevant to me for the work I do in the crypto space. I don’t do anything in the crypto space — if I did, I would want them to reference what I did so that I knew their email wasn’t just spam. Basic research can help you not look silly.
  2. It gives you points of mutual rapport. Points of mutual rapport help you speed up the relationship-building process by showing the other person that you share some values with them. These may be taste-based values, like that you both like the same football teams. These may be more complex values, like that you share a religion or membership in a values-based fraternity.
  3. It signals to the person you aren’t a jerk. If you want somebody to give you their valuable time, you should signal to them that you’ve already given up some of your valuable time before reaching out to them.
I have my coaching clients do active outreach and business development — whether that’s for their day jobs or for their consulting businesses — and stress the importance of doing research for them. It pays off.
One client told me last week that the research worked. He received a reply from somebody he sent a cold email to where she explicitly told him, “I usually don’t reply to sales emails but I wanted to reply to yours because it was obvious you did research on me.” That cold email translated into a call in less than two days. I have a copy of that interaction below.
Research works. Do it. View it as an up-front investment in the relationship you’re building with another person.

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