If you’ve already maximized the opportunities in your own network, it’s time to roll up your
sleeves and get out of your comfort zone. This is where cold-calling comes in.
There’s good news for those of us who get nervous at the thought of actually picking up the
phone and calling someone. Today, cold-calling is more about using digital tools and
networks at your fingertips. You no longer need to memorize a spoken pitch, but instead, can prepare a written text to send out. While this comes with its own set of challenges, if done strategically, it can lead to great connections. Below are my 5 tips for turning cold-calls into warm connections.
1. Your LinkedIn and Online Presence Must be Top Notch
Your LinkedIn is where you show your values to the business world. It is also your main tool to communicate with your growing network. Ensure that the content is top-notch; your photo is professional and the content is written in native English. If you don’t have a native English speaking friend who could help with the text, consider hiring a freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork. Make sure all of your past work experiences are relevant, and that the company logo appears next to each organization you worked at. Include relevant volunteer experience and interests, and unfollow interests that are not. Polishing your LinkedIn profile is imperative to your success in opening doors - it’s the first window into your own persona. Your profile should convey one coherent message that makes it clear what your career and startup goals are.
Already have a website for your startup? Make sure you have an original logo and a coherent
digital presence. If you’re developing your idea and still do not have a product, your online
presence is (almost) all you have. Try to see it as a matter of respect for your potential investor - if you don’t invest in yourself, why should they?
2. Create your own template
Once you’re set about what you want to communicate, and why you want to reach out to a
certain person, it’s much easier to do so when you have a basic text to work from. keep it short and to the point. You will learn down the road how to better evaluate and screen these interactions, so for now keep it simple and clear.
3. Make it Personal. Attention is the new currency.
When reaching out to someone, make it personal. Do not use automation programs or bulk
emails if you’re looking for a productive response. Make it clear why you specifically want to meet them. It cannot be done in a “send to all” manner if you’d like to see results.
Also remember, the startup world in Israel operates in English. If English is not your first language, consider investing in a helper like Grammarly.
4. Reach Out To The Next of Kin
I once tried reaching out to a specific HNWI via LinkedIn a few times with no luck. No
matter how well formulated my outreach message was, it simply wasn’t being looked at.
So I found the closest person to him who might be more inclined to answer. It turned out that the HNWI who I was trying to reach had a fiancee who designs websites, and it just so happened that we also needed a new website, so reaching out was natural. When we met in person to discuss the possibility of working together, we had a good click and she offered to hook me up with her fiancee. We not only had a great website and top of the line service but also an introduction to the person I was seeking.
5. Still nothing? Reach out to the marketing department
Oftentimes the person you are trying to get, won’t have the availability to attend to incoming messages from young entrepreneurs. Instead, find you're ‘in’ with the marketing/other outbound departments. People who work in sales and marketing are used to reaching out to others. They are probably more likely to open and answer your email than the big boss would be. From there, take it to a 15-minute Zoom call.
Above all, when it comes to networking outside of your own circle, it’s all about being consistent and creative.
Remember, while it’s not always easy - you have the ability to reach anyone. You
just have to work smartly.