Recently, in our basement, a dusty folder fell into my arms.
My husband and me were about to move into a new home North of Germany.
Therefore everything - and I mean everything - needs to get checked and decided to pack it or to put it to waste.
A printed email like this lay on my lab. I wrote it many years back:
Dear Mr Prospect, we are one of the biggest garment exporter and manufacturer in India…
“Holy cow!” I thought. “What a difference!"
Back then I was working as a sales agent for an knitwear supplier from Tirupur in India.
What I found in this old introduction email is a perfect example of a common sales-killing phrase.
“We are one of the leading/biggest/garment exporters in…”
Innocent looking, I'd never guessed this phrase is the most dangerous for a company introduction.
Ironically, I’ve been killing my own sales without even knowing it!
"Dear Mr Prospect, we are one of the biggest garment exporter and manufacturer in India…"
Is a sales killer phrase.
I hear you, dear RMG exporter. And I‘ve seen it on LinkedIn and social as many times as you have.
But I‘ve also spent hours interviewing hundreds of apparel buyers in Europe.
Who said they hit the delete button mentally or in real as soon as they read that.
Today I'd like to consider myself pretty goddamn good at writing company introductions.
I'm not calling myself the "introduction wizard" or anything - which would lead to think about pixie dust - but I will say that quite a few RMG exporter have hit me up this year and last about shaping their company introductions.
Too often the journey ends with an introduction email.
Above all, even highly professional people in RMG export, with excellent infrastructure to produce quality garments, who have the power and ambition to go and run forward.
I hear: "The market doesn't recognize just how good my products are. Why it is so difficult to help potential buyers see that?"
And yes, you don't need to run a huge green factory or the biggest buying house businesses in town.
It works even if you're start-up 1-women agent like I used to be.
How do I know?
Because I send hundreds of emails to introduce our small factory in Tirupur in India and grew our business 1200% in 6 months.
My approaching campaign had a reply rate of 87% and a conversion rate over time 62% (Over time means, for some buyers I had to follow up for several seasons.)
They brought in nearly $3mio turnover. Not a shabby start. By the end of my first year in business, we ended up with more work than my factory in India could handle and we needed to source out maximum of orders.
My business as a sales commission agent as well as the business of my Indian partner grew ridiculously.
Thanks to a solid company introduction and a strategic follow-up.
If you think that buyers don't even read company introductions, they have all their suppliers, are not looking for new ones or that they're too busy to reply back, read on.
The truth is every dollar I earned in my business I can trace back to a handshake somewhere. To somebody I had a personal connection with.
If I reverse engineer the hundred thousand of dollars I collected in commission, there is a handshake, a laugh, a connection, a relationship behind it. And you can do the same.
Your company introduction emails don't start working until you get THIS right
For instance, buyers don't really care about "leading".
They don't sit with their spouse at the dinner table, looking at the sky, dreaming: "I wish I would work with the leading RMG exporter from __ ."
They want to know how you can help them in their business.
In other words, how their lives is becoming better with having you around.
So, if you send them an email with "We're on of the leading garment exporters from ..." they're gonna hit delete.
Or you get a standard email back with "We keep your profile in our files and get back if needed -kind-of-thing".
Which is essentially the same.
Truth is we were really never taught how to craft a compelling introduction message.
So how do you write an effective cold email that gets this kind of response:
YES! I want it.
This is where people jump first: quantity.
Making it a numbers game.
Contacting many many buyers.
Hitting 'send' A L O T .
Don't get me wrong , that's okay, but in a world where buyers get an average of 20 company introduction in a week, you need to step up your visibility.
So how do you do it?
The messaging in your company introduction needs to be clear, personal, specific and relevant.
CLEAR, this covers “so what?” and “why should I care?”
Your message must be delivered in such a way that there is no reason it could be misunderstood.
Who you are
What you do
What you're selling
Why they need it
Coming to PERSONAL, SPECIFIC and RELEVANT
I mean, being personal beyond putting their name in the greeting line.
You can't copy and paste the same email to everyone and still hope to have it be personal, specific and relevant.
To clarify, it's about connecting the dots of research and making educated guesses.
A 5-minute research is time well spend.
It shows the potential buyer you get them. They feel heard and seen and that's crazy attractive.
My best company introductions were hyper specific.
That specificity showed that I a) did my homework and b) cared enough to do my homework which meant c) I’m a professional.
5 minutes. 300 seconds.
That's all you need.
Here's where I love to go check for research
So for me, that researching was the start to sell my products. Knitwear from India. You might sell another garment from another country but the concept is the same.
Visit customers' online store
Scan their knitwear. What do they currently sell that I can produce?
Interpret customers' about us page
Understand what do they care about?
Superquick - what comes up - sometimes you find a nugget.
Browse buyers' LinkedIn profile
Hint: Keep the search anonym. You don't need to sign into LinkedIn to get the information.
Check Google News
What's currently going on in their business. Updates? Big changes?
Head on over to Wikipedia
When they are there - not everyone is - learn about them. Great for an overview.
Browsing headlines is enough.
Organize my data pool
my own introduction email templates
Pick a date in the calendar
For when I can met them for a call, video-call or an in person meeting.
I told you, easy-to-do research. 5 mins. Max.
Your time is valuable.
And that's honestly all you need.
Plus my favourite: Their local stores.
(Let me clarify this point: I can't do a store-check in 5 mins. But online you can totally do that.)
What I found got
filtered, written, edited, optimized
and went straight into my company introduction email. Framing it clear, personal, specific and relevant how my company could help them accomplish their business goals.
Print off your own checklist so you can follow along right here.
Testing ain’t all that
Have you ever poured your heart, time and energy into your approach only to hear crickets?
I have! And, I gotta be honest, it’s awful.
But it’s also a wonderful way to reexamine what didn’t work. What I’ve found is that more often than not, it’s that you need to test and teak your message.
Be sure to have patience with yourself and allow time for adjustments. I used that silence – no response – as a testing opportunity.
Thanks to a lot of tweaking and testing, my positive reply rates started to rise. Positive in the sense of a one-liner like: "Ok, please send a sample and quotation." Or: "Ok meeting, October 12th, 10 am is confirmed."
Replies peppered my inbox.
Meetings filled up my calendar.
Commission payments hit my bank account.
Once I figured out a cold company introduction email that worked well, I templated it. You should, too.
From there: Do more of what works.
Once I figured out a company introduction email that worked well, I saved it for re-use.
After several more test, I templated it. You should, too.
With a template, the work of writing an email is nearly eliminated.
All you’ll do is:
HINT: First copy the email template into a .txt file.
Why? For example, if you use a Word doc, somehow copy and pasting results in a blue colour that only the recipient can see.
To avoid these kinds of roadblocks, simply use a . txt file to prep your introduction email for your RMG buyers.
Fill out your email template with relevant info [ ___ ] from your research.
NEW! Save your spot for the free live masterclass.
There's an art to cold outreach to RMG buyers. And a science. And we're going to cover both. Let's get you some new buyers, shall we?
If you’re feeling good about sprinkling these tips into your company introduction, by all means… skip “silence” and dive straight into perfecting your messaging so that you can start profiting ASAP.
Thanks, talk soon
PS to get your hands on the checklist for perfecting your messaging click here >>>.
Use it to guide your messaging for any upcoming approach for a new fashion retailer or brand.