Let’s say you run a consumer service business OR sell a consumer product and want to reach out to potential prospects to grow your business using cold email...
For example, maybe you’re a...
- Real Estate Agent
- Financial Adviser
- Pest Control Professional
- Personal Fitness Trainer
- Etc...you get the idea.
How would you know who would be a good prospect to reach out to? After all, pretty much anyone could benefit from using your services at some point. But timing is everything and you’re not a psychic. Or are you?...
On the flip side, maybe you’re selling a product such as:
- MLM products
- Nutritional supplements
- Makeup kits
- Consumer software products or apps
- Handmade soaps or clothing
Again, how would you know who would be interested in buying your product? If you’re selling nutritional supplements...would you target anyone and everyone who ‘works out’ such as – people who go to a gym, athletes, bodybuilders, people who go running in the park, etc?
Maybe...possibly...that could work but, often your approach can be guided by your response to this one fundamental question – Where you would find email addresses of people who have these interests?
And, taking it one step further – How could you most effectively communicate with these cold prospects? Because remember, these people have never heard from you before and have NO IDEA who you are.
Well, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about cold emailing in the B2C space. And today we’re going to focus on the referral partner play!
What’s a referral partner?
A referral partner would be another business that works with or has a list of your prospects, who would be willing to refer you to their audience.
Referral partners typically work in a non-competing or complementary space to you.
Now, before we talk about the right way to cold email for service-based or product-based businesses, here’s what NOT to do...
- If you were to let’s say, just build a list of people who you think MIGHT be interested in what you have to offer and then reach out to these potential prospects...you'd just be shooting in the dark.
- After all, for businesses like these, there’s usually no way to know if someone really needs your help or wants to buy what you’re selling.
- In other words, it would be lots of effort with little return.
- Plus, your outreach would generally be seen as spam to your audience, and that could damage your brand/reputation.
Don’t get discouraged though because like I said, there is a way to create a solid cold email strategy for B2C businesses!
Instead of the spray and pray approach where you target anyone and everyone hoping to get a bite, try the referral partner strategy.
Why are referral partners great?
A referral partner can introduce your product or service to their customers - and they could EITHER get a referral fee for new customers they send your way OR the agreement could be that you reciprocate by sending prospects their way whenever appropriate.
As long as you provide relevant information as to why they would want to partner up and get across what’s in it for them, the odds should be in your favor. From what we’ve seen, businesses are more receptive to these relationships than direct sales to cold consumer prospects, because as we’ve discussed, these prospects can be tough to get in the door, if they are completely cold to you.
The opportunity to expand your reach is exponential when it comes to this type of approach. In other words, one great referral partner could introduce you to a bunch of new qualified prospects that are in-market for what you provide. And, QUALIFIED is the key here!
For this reason, these are some of the most valuable relationships you can build using cold email for service businesses or businesses that sell products.
Who would make a good referral partner for your business?
Let’s go back to the Real Estate Agent example…
Who interacts with or has a list of people who are interested in selling their home or property?
For example, a good referral partner for Real Estate Agents could be someone who’s a – Mortgage Broker, Home Service Provider (Plumber, Electrician, Painter, Construction Contractor, Interior Designer), Lawyer, Financial Planner, etc.
Or for product-based businesses, let’s circle back to the nutritional supplement example…
Who would have a list or work with people who are interested in fitness and health so they can improve or stay at the top of their physical game?
For example, a good referral partner for people who sell supplements could be someone who’s a – Personal Fitness Trainer, Health Coach, Weight Loss Specialist, Dietitian, Gym Owner/Manager, Athletic Team Coach, etc.
Once you have identified a list of job titles/job functions of the exact types of professionals who would make good referral partners for your business, the next step will be to build a list of professionals just like them (and we recommend starting small until you’ve dialed in your messaging copy and approach).
We discuss the list building process in detail within our program whether you are using LinkedIn to find your prospects or need ideas for alternative list-builders. There are many ways to get a list of contacts that would make ideal referral partners, but the starting point is identifying the best professionals to partner with for your business.
Once your list has been built you can start reaching out to these potential referral partners to build some trust, authority, and goodwill - and of course, get on the phone with them.
Like most things you’ll have to practice by talking with your prospective referral partners to determine how to make the most compelling offer for them. But there’s often more openness to this type of discussion because these relationships should really be thought of as win-win for both parties. And, a win for the customer as well!
Motivated? Ready to take action? Get out there and grow your referral partner list!Oh, and if you want to learn how to start building your list of potential referral partners through LinkedIn...I encourage you to check out our new workshop -> How to Automate Your LinkedIn Outreach <-