Never Settle: Closing Leads and Meeting Your Idols
SiriusDecisions states, that “the average seller only makes 2 attempts to approach a potential costumer and 44% of the sellers abandon their attempts after only one follow-up action.” However, it now takes 8 attempts to even reach a sales prospect.
When sending emails or calling people you begin to become self-conscious. You think contacting someone more than one or two times starts coming off as annoying and pushy. You think that the person clearly does not want to be bothered.
From the opposite end, if someone contacts you one or two times and then stops calling you out of nowhere. Well, clearly it was not that important right?
Mastering the follow up email has led to huge business growth at SeedX. At first, I was also hesitant about following up, but then you think, sometimes even my Mom or friend has to text or call me twice before they get a response. In today’s busy world you need to continue to follow up AND add value in order to get noticed.
If you do not believe me, Grant Cardone – a master of sales – called his future wife every week for over a year before he convinced her that they should go on a date. Steve Jobs at 12 years old cold called Bill Hewlett, CEO of HP, and asked him a computer part. Bill Hewlett was so interested by Steve that he not only agreed to give him the parts he needed, but also offered him a summer job.
I recently closed an account for someone that I emailed 10 straight times. They were a busy plastic surgeon. However, when they responded, they thanked me for following up because they were busy moving offices and now he was ready to get started with his new website, a video to showcase his new office, and he wanted to start a new online campaign. Yee-haaa. I am glad I stuck to that one.
Jacqueline and I recently decided to step this up a notch. So we compiled a list of CEOs, executives, and other people that we would like to be connected with or meet.
Our list included:
*Diane Von Furstenberg
*Stefanie Germatta (Lady Gaga)
And many others.
At the time when we started this my roommate, Wes, thought we were psycho. He also added an important concern that others probably have. But what are you even going to talk about with these people?
I actually feel that I have a lot I would like to learn from these people. They are leaders in their fields but are also more developed individuals. Jacqueline and I are always looking for mentorship or to help people. Why not get mentorship from the best or help the best.
So Jacqueline was up first. She just finished reading Diane Von Furstenberg’s autobiography. Diane was trailblazer in the fashion world. She help establish business women fashion with the wrap dress and seeing QVC as a huge platform even when people advised her against it.
This is a great email. Jacqueline has always been better with words than me. She quickly explains who she is, why she is contacting her, and a simple and subtle request to meet.
If you know Jacqueline, then she would nail it on the first try. Within hours Diane shoots her an email back asking to have her email her at the beginning of September to arrange a meeting. Seriously, it was that easy.
Now for me on the other hand I fall more into the category of sending countless emails before getting a response.
Angela Ahrendts the former CEO of Burberry who is accredited with revitalizing the company. Now she is the Senior Vice President of Apple and there are rumors that she might be the next in line to lead the World’s most valuable company.
So here is my first attempt. No response.
Here is my second attempt. On this one I try to highlight more why I am trying to get ahold of her. I also like to continue to express my gratitude for her time as I know that these people are immensely busy and time is the most sacred resource. I was actually mad at myself here. If you look at the dates you can see that it went a little over a week before my second message. I find it better if you are consistent with the days and times you send your emails.
Here is my third attempt. This email I wrote frantically one day. Jacqueline and I were talking about unsung heroes and it really struck me that I had actually already been helped by Angela. However, on this attempt it worked!
Sort of at least. I got a hold of her assistant who was super friendly. She sent this email while I was crafting my message for the following day.
Now I did not get ahold of Angela directly, but it does show the power of follow up emails, that go beyond surface level.
Angela if you are reading this, I am sending you a fun gift! Thanks for reading my emails.
We still have not heard back from Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Lady Gage, or Elon Musk. Although, I continue to try and arrange a meeting with Elon by actually calling Tesla. Go figure that they have not agreed to schedule it yet. But they sure know who I am and when I am calling them.
So far follow up emails have helped get us meetings with tech Marco Zappacosta founder of the billion dollar start-up Thumbtack, our most recent job doing a fashion line in SOHO, meetings with someone other amazing individuals, and also referrals to new people who need help with their projects.
The follow up email is an essential tool to master wether you are trying to reach your next client or the next superstar. The key to the follow up email, is adding value and making your email stand out, being persistent, consistent, and grateful. Every one has to squeeze the most out of the 24 hours they have each day. Jacqueline and I respect anyone who is willing to give some of their time to meet with us.
Follow Up: Normally I try to write blog posts in advance so I have a collection of posts in case of emergency or I get busy one day. This weekend he heard back from a CEO of a mainstream clothing retailer. How did we get ahold of him? Cold message right through LinkedIn that I sent months prior. So keep at it!