At the risk of giving away the secret of someone who knows how to do it right, I offer the following e-mail as an example of a sales pitch gone well! How refreshing! I wish more people go about it like this person did.
Hi Mr. CIO OnPoint,
Congratulations on your recent <insert successes or publicly visible things about the company>. It’s great to see a local company doing so well and moving their industry forward.
I was researching <insert company name> because I am impressed by your <insert what impresses you>. I see that you have an open position for <insert title> with some very exciting projects envisioned for this role.
At My Company, I help people like you who are rolling out these types of projects and can support your in-house efforts through <name your value added services>. We work with you in whatever way is most effective for you, from providing light consulting through full implementation support.
Would you be interested in speaking with me about this or any other areas where you are looking for support and I might be able to help you?
Sincerely, <insert your name>
What this shows me is:
(1) you did your homework
(2) you identify with my company as a company and not just the next prospect on your list
(3) you indicate your desire to ADD value
(4) you didn’t obnoxiously suggest you WERE the one I needed, but you asked to talk more
(5) and said you “might” be able to add value, and did not arrogantly assume that you are “sure you can”.
In short, you invited a discussion starting at the highest of levels, the company, products, market results, culture, what have you, and are willing to work from there. You DID NOT ask me what projects I have that you can help me with. You showed that you ALREADY DID YOUR RESEARCH so you had a place to start.
Unlike a cheap pick-up line, this approach can’t be pulled out on a moment’s notice and applied in any situation. You need to time it around something positive happening at the company. You’ll know when you can use it because you’ve been watching the company over time, watching the news, and making connections. Kind of like building familiarity with someone versus using a cheap pick-up line. You can’t do this on a once-and-done. It requires attention over time. The same attention over time that I EXPECT once I’m a customer. Show me that as a prospect, and you have a much better chance of me becoming a customer.
This person got an immediate email back, got a lunch meeting within the same month, and got recommended to members of my team as well as others outside my company as someone to check out and engage with.
Wouldn’t you love to be this person?
PLEASE be this person and save me from the deluge of inappropriate approaches.
Mr. CIO OnPoint currently serves as a CIO in the technology industry. OnPoint comes from a long IT background, starting in end-user support and advancing through infrastructure, application, and consulting roles to CIO and cross-functional executive leadership. OnPoint has served in companies of all sizes in a range of industries. OnPoint is active in IT industry organizations, contributing thought leadership in the IT profession, advising emerging companies, and offering his expertise to support emerging IT leaders and youth pursuing careers in IT. After being frustrated for years with ineffective sales approaches, OnPoint contributes case studies here to help salespeople be more effective at approaching CIO’s in a way that allows them to make their value proposition clear and start meaningful mutually-beneficial relationships. He also provides examples of what not to do. Unfortunately these examples happen way too often.