Today we’re going to be talking about
- prospecting through professional directories
- what kind of messages to send them
and what kind of messages I’ve had success within the last few weeks starting this whole process.
A really easy way to find free prospects is basically using Google to search for professional organization membership directories. Generally speaking, if someone is paying a few hundred dollars a month to be part of this organization, they’re going to be a professional in that industry.
Here’s what your search on Google is going to look like:
“membership directory” filetype:pdf [organization_name] [state or country if wanted] [year if wanted]
What that will search for is the words membership and directory only when they appear next to each other, as well as only searching for PDF files. This could also work for Excel docs or Word docs as well. Now you’ll have a huge list of professionals to contact and start with whatever process you’re knocking out.
However, a major downside to using membership directories is that you don’t know exactly what that contact does. You have a name, phone number or email, potentially their company, and that’s about it. You don’t know if it’s the office manager or CEO without doing more research. They may not even be in your industry but a part of the organization.
SO DON’T SEND A PITCH!
But, you still want to send a bulk email to these contacts. How?
Ask for feedback.
Present your bulk email asking for legitimate, genuine feedback. And if you have the power and it is not unreasonable, implement that feedback and email them back when all is well.
Here’s an example of something I’ve sent, but don’t just rip this and use it. It will be used and abused and people will know you’re sending templated crap.
I found your contact information in [organiztion]’s professional directory, and was looking for an [broad title]’s opinion on a project I’m working on. A few months ago I created [my_project] and was looking for feedback and could [company] find it useful in [city/state]?
I appreciate any feedback, and thank you for your time.
Super short, super to the point, and I’m still looking for feedback. Possibly drop the “could you find it useful” if you want to stick to the feedback portion. Say you’re in an organization that’s been around for a bit. Don’t ask for feedback, ask if they’ve heard of your company before.
Why this works.
Everyone wants to feel important, and if you recognize that they’re a professional, they’ll reciprocate appropriately. I’ve had attorneys reach out to me (not my niche or industry by any means) asking for my expert advice because of the emails I send out. My name is out there and people recognize.
Additionally, if you get a response that says “I’m not the one for that” or “take me off your list”, good! Your list just got more refined! What works better, a list of 3,000 that you don’t know who’s interested (the beginning of this process) or a list of 2,000 that haven’t said no yet?