Nothing is more appealing when introducing oneself to a potential client than to come right bold while at it. Introducing yourself to a potential client via email is more appropriate when you have had a previous physical encounter and you are following on it. In such a case, you may have to mention the WHERE and WHEN the meeting or encounter took place.
The first thing to do in an email like this is to mention your name and what you do. These are the information relevant to your recipient. He needs to know who is trying to connect with at the other end and how this contact may be of benefit to him. The subject matter of what you do and the organization or company you work for should reveal how you can be of benefit to your potential client.
Emails with the sole purpose of introduction should be strictly carrying the brief and relevant information noted above. It should not be used as an avenue to go into lengthy details concerning the business opportunity you have in mind. It is simply rude to do that. You may also pass as being too forward and encroaching on the valued time your recipient is using in reading your email. The question often is how you can briefly introduce yourself and highlight what makes it worthwhile to meet you rather than putting off your potential client by the length details he or she may find uninteresting.
Here are some crucial factors to note in introducing yourself via email.
ENCOURAGE A ONE-ON-ONE MEETING
Let your recipient want to meet you one-on-one through the email experience. It is not enough to say everything via email. Create a need for a physical encounter through your mail. This must be done tactfully, ensuring your priority remains the benefits the potential client will have from such a one-on-one meeting.
BE PROFESSIONAL AND CONCISE
You are creating a first impression through this email experience or building on something created previously through a physical encounter. Either way, ensure you keep the entire communication professional and concise. Avoid being too forward or presumptuous, that is, acting as if a business deal has already been agreed on from an initial physical encounter when it is not actually the case.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Keep your language simple. Avoid uncommon or difficult words or terms. You may not be sure of the client’s level of education or store of English vocabulary. So be safe. Keep it simple yet professional.
USING AN INFLUENCE
In cases whereby you have to use the influence of someone or perhaps go through an established relationship your recipient has with someone else, you may need to immediately establish that at the beginning of your mail or at the end. The impression you want to create should determine where in the body of your mail this name pops up. If you need the name as an entry point or desire to use it as an access in order for your recipient to give you an audience instead of deleting it without reading it through once he opens it, then, the name may pop in at the beginning.
If the client is someone you already know, but you now wish to introduce your business to him or her, still maintain a formal tone throughout your mail. Anything involving financial transaction should always be treated formally because of its sensitivity, no matter how close you are to this individual. However, you need not to be too strict or too formal if your own judgment your relationship with this person does not deserve such. Caution is the key. Never act based on assumption, always double check what you have always known about your relationship with the potential client before engaging semi-formally if you feel being formal may not be appropriate.
WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME?
In every paragraph of your professional and concise mail, ensure there is something that the client will notice that will be of benefit to him or her by just getting to know your business. While it is essential to mention who you are and what you do, do not dwell on it for too long. Bring out clear benefits the potential client stands to gain from having a business relationship with you. Because in the long run, what matters to most clients is; “What is in it for me?” You certainly need to answer that question for anyone to patronize you.
Be enthusiastic in your mail. Be genuinely excited about a possible business relationship with your potential client. Let the client see this genuine enthusiasm in your mail.
Ensure your business address, phone number(s) and website are clearly written at the end of your mail. It is usually best placed at the Signature area of your gmail or yahoomail setting. If you are unfamiliar with the Signature area, just place them at the left bottom corner at the end of the mail. This gives the client multiple ways you may be contacted, including through email. The client may choose to visit your website to know more about you, giving you a better head start before your one-on-one encounter.
Hello Mr Adewale,
My name is Emeka Peters, head of production unit at Maxwell Brewery. A common acquaintance, Smith Abdul from Fort Foundation suggested I contacted you.
We met at the last year’s sales event organized by your company in June. It was quite a remarkable experience…
This sample opens with a name you hope will give access, arouse interest and allow the rest of your mail to be read.
…Our company also provides delivery services to end-users nationwide.
I have heard a lot about your company from a common acquaintance, Meryl Romney from Longhorn Diary Foods.
I appreciate you for your time and hope to hear from you soon…
In this sample, the name comes up towards the end of your email. This is in cases whereby you hope the name will give credibility and the association with this name will in some ways pull some weight to attest to your integrity and sincerity of purpose. You have hoped that the track record of works you have will arouse interest.
Written by Teju Duru; a communication expert and freelance writer based in Ibadan.
Ayo Oyedotun is a professional blogger and freelance writer. He reads, writes and talks about business. You can follow him on Twitter @Ayo_Oyedotun[http://twitter.com/#!/Ayo_Oyedotun] or read Business Owners’ Bible[http://woculus.com/].