I'm about to show you the exact process I used to promote a high-end consulting offer by sending cold emails.
I want to show you exactly how I did it so you can copy the strategy step-by-step and close high value clients of your own.
A couple of important points before I begin:
- The people I contacted had NO idea who I was when I reached out. They were not email subscribers, past clients or anything like that. This truly was cold outreach.
- I kept the strategy very simple on purpose. I don't like “sales calls” and I don't like trying to “convince” people to work with me. This strategy includes four emails and two consultations...max.
- The program I was offering was a $25,000 consulting arrangement. Feel free to offer whatever makes sense for you and your business. The price, size, and scope of the offer is far less important than the process you use to introduce it.
- In no way am I saying you will have the same results I did. You might do better, you might do worse. What I am saying is that having a strategy (and following it everyday) is better than not having one (and wishing everyday). I'm giving you one of my strategies to assist in your efforts. Take it, use it, work it, and tweak it until you win.
How To Get High End Consulting Clients
By Sending Cold Emails
What Was My Problem?
There were two primary things that brought this particular campaign about for me.
One – I really wanted to focus down and work with a specific type of client. To this point, I had the good fortune of working with many different types of clients and niches, but I didn't want that breadth anymore. I wanted depth. I wanted to work with more sophisticated clients, in a more intimate relationship, on a deeper level. More specifically, I wanted to work with clients on marketplace differentiation (developing your strongest, most unique message) and marketing automation (turning that unique message into systemized, sequenced marketing campaigns).
Two – I didn't want to “sell” them at ALL. I didn't (and still don't) like the idea of getting someone on the phone and then trying to convince them to work with me. I wanted to offer a very specific service to a very specific prospective client and have an easy conversation about whether or not I can help them. So as I started to execute my main questions were:
- How do I introduce myself to high-level perspective clients who have never heard of me before?
- How do I respond to them in a way that builds my authority and gives them confidence they are working with a professional?
- How do I limit the number of consultations so that I'm speaking to qualified prospects only and I'm not wasting my time (or theirs) with unvaluable conversation?
How To Get High End Consulting Clients By Sending Cold Emails (Step By Step)
Alright, here we go!
Step Zero: Shift Your Attitude
My decision was...if I was going to do the work of a campaign like this I wanted to get my “money's worth”. I wanted to offer something interesting (powerful) enough to get a response from a cold email...and keep me motivated until I got that response. You should make a similar decision. It doesn't make sense to go through the effort if you are going to play small. Remember, I'm not talking about price I'm talking about VALUE. You are a premium service provider. When you reach out, show people your “premium”.
Step One: Define Your Superpower
Awesome attracts awesome..and awesome clients want to work work with awesome consultants. Before the prospect can know what your awesome is, YOU have to know first. So what is it? And you don't need some fancy catch phrase or tag line. You just need to be unapologetically clear. Face this head on. If you don't, your vague value proposition will invite tire-kicking, freebie-seeking, time wasters who do not fit your highest value offerings.
Fill in these blanks: I help people accomplish a goal with my skills.
- I help people turn $1 into $3 with advanced paid traffic strategies . (Justin Brooke IS the Traffic Strategist)
- I help people make smart marriage choices by focusing on "Why" instead of "Who" (Gary Thomas wrote a great marriage book you should read.)
- I help people grow their business with video. (Bryan Harris does great work at VideoFruit)
I used: I help people turn their marketplace message into simple, sequenced marketing campaigns.
Keep this simple. Fill in the blanks. Move on to step two.
Step Two: Define Their Problem
Now that you know what you do, you've got to be clear on how it helps the prospective client. Remember, this is not about what you want to help them with...this is about the problem they have in their own mind.
Fill in this blank: If you have a problem with big issue I can help you.
- If you have a problem with making paid traffic profitable I can help you. (Justin talks about his 12 million dollar lesson)
- If you have a problem keeping your marriage exciting I can help you. (Gary talks about how to keep your marriage affair proof)
- If you have a problem creating an explainer video I can help you. (Bryan's post on explainer video increases sales.)
I used: If you have a problem turning your message into marketing campaigns that convert I can help you. Keep this simple. Fill in the blanks. Move on to step three.
Step Three: Develop Your a Program - Price - Time Frame
This could be a whole guide all to itself, but let's keep it as simple as we can. The idea is to quickly determine the scope, price, and time frame of your offering. There are no magic answers. It's just a matter of what you want to do. Let me help by creating some short guidelines below.
How many steps does it take to go from where your prospective client is now to the end result they desire? If you already have a program outlined, (please) use that. If you don't, use this.
- Program Phase 1 – Diagnostic check (So, what's the problem?)
- Program Phase 2 – Triage the worst issue (Whoa. We need to fix this now!)
- Program Phase 3 – Reveal a better model (Here is the approach you should use.)
- Program Phase 4 – Supervise them (You do it while I watch and correct.)
- Program Phase 5 – Self-study (You do it by yourself and tell me what happens)
- Program Phase 6 – Conclude (What did you learn? What's next?)
Your program should be like aspirin for your prospect's headache. It should easy to digest and quick to create results.
How much should the program cost? If you already have a pricing model (please) use that. If you don't use this. Pick the highest price you can look in the mirror and say without stuttering. $200 $2,000 $20,000 Don't like one of these? Go with your gut. First good thought wins. (no overthinking)
How long should the program be? If you already have a time table (please) use that. If you don't use this. Pick the timeframe you believe allows you to add the most value without going stale. Your offering should be: Six days Six weeks Six months Don't like one of these? Go with your gut. First good thought wins. (no overthinking)
Step Four: Develop Your Outreach Email
You want to send out a short, welcoming, (but potent) email to describe who the offering is for and who it's not for. A brief outline of the email flows like this. (This is customized from a version I originally saw Don Wilson use.)
By the way, consider this resource if you need help developing a subject line for your cold email. There are 50+ examples of successful headlines to choose from.
Step Five: Develop Your Target List
If you've been doing business for any period of time you have contacts who know you and your expertise. Now that you have a refined offer, you can reach out to see if they're interested. When I did this, I was sending individual emails to people I did NOT know. Here is how you can be better than me. Send emails out to people who already know you! (I thought about this point waaay after I did my outreach. Please be better than me.) Reaching out to people in your network greatly increases the chance of response.
You probably have access to more names than you think. Here are a couple of places you can go right now to find targeted people who know you. I even included a few examples from my existing accounts:
- Customer List (Best)
- Prospect List (Second Best)
- Google Contacts (Depends)
- LinkedIn Connections (Depends)
- Facebook Friends (Depends)
- Business Cards (Depends)
Consider your own database(s), find the best fit targets, and continue to step 6.
Note: NO one likes to be spammed. "Blasting" random, "cold" prospects with your offer is not only tacky, it's illegal. If you aren't sure, don't do it. If you need a resource, you can learn about CAN-SPAM here. (It's easier and faster to leverage your existing network anyway.)
Step Six: Send Out the Emails
I sent out a total of 166 emails and averaged about 8 emails/day. You might send out one/day, six/day, or twelve/day. There is no correct answer, but you've got to touch enough people so a conversion rate can take effect. I sent these emails myself, but this is also something you can easily outsource to someone else.
Step Seven: Set an Appointment
When people respond to your email you need to set up a free consultation time with them. The simplest way to do this is offer a few times and they will pick one. You will call them at the time they select. If you really want to be cool you can send them to a calendering system. That's what I did. I used Appointlet founded by Jared Morse and Rami El Chamaa. It syncs with Google Calendar.
Either way, be sure to confirm with them when they select their time.
Step Eight: Listen First, Talk Second
Oh boy, here is a place where you can really mess things up. Let me be very direct here: You are not on the phone to explain your business to them. Remember you are on the phone because they responded to a very specific email about a very specific service. They are already interested in what you offer. Your job is to listen and be sure what you offer can really help them. But you cannot help them make the right decision if you talk more than they do. In other words, if you really want to establish yourself as a valuable advisor in their mind.
You need to listen as hard as you can to their situation. Open up with the conversation with "so tell me about your experience with problem". And then let them tell you what their experience is. You'll begin to understand if you can help them by what they tell you. You don't have to sell them anything. Part of your value is that you are letting them speak freely. This may be one of the few chances where they can hear their own thoughts. Trust me, no one else is paying this much attention to their problem. You are the only one. You just became *special* in their eyes.
Open up with the conversation with "So tell me about your experience with..."then be quiet and listen to what they say.
How do you close? Let them finish their story. Be sure to ask enough questions so that you are clear on their problem. Once you've done those two, simply ask, "Do you want help with that"?
Once you ask "Do you want help with that?" the prospective client will tell YOU the steps they are prepared to take.
And then be quiet.They will tell you exactly what they want to do.
If they want to move forward, great, sign them up immediately.If they need more time they will tell you AND they will tell you why. If necessary, set a follow-up call in the next 48-72 hours.
Here is a simple script to end the call: "I heard you and understand where you are. Let me take a few days to put together a proposal for you so you can make your final decision. Does XYZ date work for you? Please be sitting next to a computer so I can walk you through everything. By they way, is there anyone else that needs to be present for our call on XYZ date/time?"
The purpose of this break is less about your need to create a proposal. The truth is you will have the program already outlined and you will just need to tailor it to their situation. Really, the next 48 to 72 hours is for them to make a decision and get comfortable about whether or not they want to work with you. They may have other questions for you on the second call, but by that time they will already be 80% percent sure if they want to work with you or not. The second call is just a confirmation and an opportunity to take payment.
Step Nine: How to Handle the Second (Final) Call
You don't want your prospective client feeling like you are pushing them into a decision too quickly. On the first call they are making many micro decisions about your ability to help them. Did they connect with you, did you listen to them, do they feel like they can trust you? These questions along with many others will be asked and answered subconsciously. Don't try to figure all of this out.
Just stick to the plan and allow them to make whatever decision they believe is in their best interest. The second call confirms their challenges and makes sure all decision makers are on board. When you call the prospect for the second time you will walk them through a very simple proposal. All you have to do is pull up the presentation slides and email them a link to view your screen. Join.me allows you to share your screen quickly and easily. I use the free account. (You can find an proposal template to customize in the guide. Download it now.)
Here's your format for the second call:
- Here's what I heard you say.
- Here is how I can help.
- Are you ready to get started today?
Then be quiet. They will tell you what they want to do. Be quiet as long as your energy can stand. Do not speak before they do. If they are quiet, you are quiet. Let them think. Let them talk. Let them tell you what they want to do.
Important Note #1: If you did not get a yes from their partner(s), you do not have a agreement. If you aren't sure if they have partners you need to ask. Do not begin work with the client until all decision-making parties have bought in. If this process is going to work smoothly for you and your new clients every one needs to agree and be on the same page.
Important note #2: Resist a third call with all your might.
(Remember, I wanted this process to be simple. I assume you do too). If the prospective client wants help, great. If not, great. What I didn't want was to “talk about help” for 6, 7, or 8 free consultations. With that said, this entire strategy makes it clear there are two calls...a discovery call and a follow-up. If done right you just don't need a third call.
Extending the conversations doesn't build your authority. It ruins it. Are there exceptions, sure, but do not build your strategy around the exceptions. Build them around the person you expect to say “YES”. You contacted them about a very specific solution. They responded because they want that solution.
If they do not want to move forward that's okay, let them off the phone professionally and quickly. I promise you this will be one of the most valuable 30 to 45 minute phone calls to you or the new client has ever had. You will be a star in their eyes.
Did you get all of that?
I know it's quite a bit to take in if you are doing it all from scratch (for the first time). But really, it doesn't get much simpler than sending out emails to people asking them to respond if they are interested. The thing is none of this will work for you if you don't have an awesome offer, target an audience, and do consistent outreach. I'd like to do what I can to help. Let me give you every tool I used to run this campaign. Here's what is inside (mindmap, video walkthrough, and templates)
- Video Walkthrough – The exact same video you see above. The whole process broken down step-by-step.
- Multiple Mindmap Formats - MindMeister, Freemind, Mindmanager, and image file
- 4 Step Email Template - How to introduce yourself to high-level prospective clients who may have never heard of you before
- Free Consultation Guide – So you don’t over-explain, over-teach, or over-coach during the free consultation(Yes, you can mess this up)
- Pre-Consultation Landing Page - The exact web page you should direct them to before you talk so there is no question about your skills, expertise, and value proposition (advanced strategy)
- Propsal Template - Powerfully position your offering as you walk the prospective client through each and every step of your consulting offer
- Mindmap Tool – Just in case you need a resource to view the mindmap
- Scheduling Tool – Your client can choose their own time from your calendar and BOTH of you get reminders
If you understand that you must have a client intake process that is good for you and your high level clients then this FREE download is a no brainer.