Improve your cold emails with this simple mind-reading technique

by Steli Efti
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You’ve sent a bunch of cold emails, but you keep getting the same one-line response: “Thanks, but we’re happy with our current solution.” So what can you do to attract prospects who already have a vendor in place?

Start reading their minds.

Pitching to the same kinds of prospects every day actually teaches you how they think. You know what they like and don't like. You anticipate their questions and objections. This knowledge basically makes you a mind reader.

If prospects consistently tell you that they’re satisfied with their current solution, embrace that reality and make it part of your pitch. Tweak your cold email so that you’re leading with their primary—and easiest—objection.

Here’s how it might look in practice:

Hey Steli,

We recently launched a new platform that [one-sentence pitch]. You probably already have a vendor you’re happy with, but here’s why I’ve decided to email you today.

I can’t promise you’ll convince prospects to switch vendors, but if you lead with this mind-reading technique, I guarantee they’ll keep reading your email. If nothing else, they’ll at least wonder why you’re confident enough to reach out to someone who already has a solution in place.

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You still need to follow this up with a great pitch

If you don’t provide value or you’re unable to differentiate yourself from the competition, mastering a cold email mind-reading technique is the least of your problems. By the time you’re using this, you should know why you’re reaching out to prospects who already have strong vendor relationships.

You can build on this lead-in with something like:

We’ve worked with hundreds of companies just like yours. After learning what we could do for them, they chose to make the switch. Seeing this pattern over and over made us realize that we needed to reach out to companies that already have a solution in place, so we can show you there’s something better on the market.

I received a great cold email the other day

Because I run a SaaS company, I get tons of emails from outsource development shops around the world. They all claim to have the best developers and service offerings. Why not offshore some of our development work, so we can focus on growing our business?

Here’s what I do when I get these emails:

delete.gif

I’m just not interested in outsourcing product development. I don’t believe in it—and neither does our team. Plus, most of these cold emails are super low quality. But last week, I received an email that stood out from the crowd.

Hey Steli,

I know you get tons of emails from dev shops just like ours, and you probably want to hit the delete button and move on with your day. But please just give me three more sentences before you make that call.

As I was reading the email, I wanted to delete it, but I couldn’t. I thought, “All right, fair enough. You’re honest and empathetic. You understand what my inbox looks like every day. You’ve earned a few more sentences.”

So I read on and he had a really strong pitch. I’m definitely not in the market for outsourced development, but if I was, I would have replied. He wasn’t able to convert me, but he absolutely got me to read on.

And you know what else? I didn’t delete it. I archived it and figured if other people were ever interested in this service, I’d maybe forward this email.

What’s the takeaway?

If you really pay attention to your prospects—if you ask the right questions and listen to their objections—you’re going to speak to them in a way that feels a lot like mind-reading. Embrace the reality of the situation, address their objections before they have them, and you’ll convince a lot more prospects to read your cold emails.

Want more ways to improve your cold emails? Download Cold Email Hacks 2.0 for templates, strategies, and more.

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