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NOTABLE! I emailed 40 local organisations asking what their problems and frustrations are

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Fab89

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I'm just starting out and I have no idea what I should be doing yet. I know that I need to find a problem to solve so instead of sitting back I thought I'd send out some emails to local organisations. I asked taxis, pubs, manufacturing, garages, charities, schools, self storage and construction organisations.

Do you think it is a productive idea? Can you give me feedback on my email?

Cheers.
Subject: How can I help your organisation?

Hello,

My name is Fab and I live in [my local area]. I am looking to become an entrepreneur. I have a background in software development and mechanical engineering.

I was wondering if you would be able to share any problems or frustrations [organisation] has at all. I'm hoping to find a solution and sharing it with you so you can make a profit or become more efficient.

Maybe there is a better solution with ordering stock or dealing with customers. Please share anything and I will be happy to look into it.

Regards,

Fab
 

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Fab89

Fab89

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Just a quick update: Not one response.

It's my job to find problems and solutions so I shouldn't expect others to do that for me. I also have nothing to show what I've done before to even show I have the skills to help.

Since sending the email I have had an okay idea so I'm just concentrating on that process for now.
 

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I may be in the minority on this but am I the only one who thinks it's super cringey to ask random folks who don't know you "Hey, what are problems you have that I can solve?"

I realize it's what all the books say, but I do really feel like they are trying to tell you the IDEA of what to do, not HOW to do it.

If you want to ask questions like this, IMHO, you need to do in an appropriate, natural way. No in a "fire and forget" email.

If you are at the barber, chatting pleasantly, and asked "hey, I know nothing about cutting hair - what's the hardest part of this job for you?" well then that sounds natural. Similarly you could say "that hair clipper looks hard to use - is there anything you wish it did better?" again - makes sense.

If, however, you emailed the barber and said "I am an entrepreneur, what are your problems and I'll try to start a business based on that", it would hit the trash bin immediately.

Asking about problems is great, but they should be highly targeted, specific questions that are asked in a way that is likely to get a good response. You need to have some kind of opportunity for rapport.
 

jon.a

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You are not alone. :)

I may be in the minority on this but am I the only one who thinks it's super cringey to ask random folks who don't know you "Hey, what are problems you have that I can solve?"

I realize it's what all the books say, but I do really feel like they are trying to tell you the IDEA of what to do, not HOW to do it.

If you want to ask questions like this, IMHO, you need to do in an appropriate, natural way. No in a "fire and forget" email.

If you are at the barber, chatting pleasantly, and asked "hey, I know nothing about cutting hair - what's the hardest part of this job for you?" well then that sounds natural. Similarly you could say "that hair clipper looks hard to use - is there anything you wish it did better?" again - makes sense.

If, however, you emailed the barber and said "I am an entrepreneur, what are your problems and I'll try to start a business based on that", it would hit the trash bin immediately.

Asking about problems is great, but they should be highly targeted, specific questions that are asked in a way that is likely to get a good response. You need to have some kind of opportunity for rapport.
 
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Fab89

Fab89

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I may be in the minority on this but am I the only one who thinks it's super cringey to ask random folks who don't know you "Hey, what are problems you have that I can solve?"

I realize it's what all the books say, but I do really feel like they are trying to tell you the IDEA of what to do, not HOW to do it.

If you want to ask questions like this, IMHO, you need to do in an appropriate, natural way. No in a "fire and forget" email.

If you are at the barber, chatting pleasantly, and asked "hey, I know nothing about cutting hair - what's the hardest part of this job for you?" well then that sounds natural. Similarly you could say "that hair clipper looks hard to use - is there anything you wish it did better?" again - makes sense.

If, however, you emailed the barber and said "I am an entrepreneur, what are your problems and I'll try to start a business based on that", it would hit the trash bin immediately.

Asking about problems is great, but they should be highly targeted, specific questions that are asked in a way that is likely to get a good response. You need to have some kind of opportunity for rapport.
True, I would of probably deleted the email too.
 

jon.a

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How many people have you spoken with face to face?

Just a quick update: Not one response.

It's my job to find problems and solutions so I shouldn't expect others to do that for me. I also have nothing to show what I've done before to even show I have the skills to help.

Since sending the email I have had an okay idea so I'm just concentrating on that process for now.
 

rogue synthetic

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Good for you for doing something, at least. But I agree with the sentiment here -- your pitch seems weird and uninviting.

Your first line alone says "this is all about me" I want to be an entrepreneur. The whole pitch is "me" this, "me" that.

On top of that, you're asking a business owner, who doesn't know you and is too busy to care about why this stranger is emailing him, to spend the time and effort to brainstorm up some ideas. Why should anyone bother with this for a total unknown.

A better way to do this, if you don't go the face-to-face or cold-call approach, is to re-think your pitch. Do some leg work on your own, find out who these businesses are and what they do, who they do it with, and approach them with their interests front and center.

Figure out specifically what you can offer to fix the pain you see in their business -- or better yet, take some real initiative and show them -- and get that across in your pitch.

If you aren't doing that, nobody's going to care what you want, what your education is, or anything else. I wouldn't.
 

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We research the company, figure out what they do, determine what they need, then send a targeted email to a decision maker with a solution to the problem they may not have known they had.

Needless to say our response rate is better than average......
 

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Hey @Fab89,

Here are some of my thoughts.

1. Your original email is lacking. Here's why:

Subject: How can I help your organization? (Vague Subject Line)

Note: You want to use a better headline. Make it personalized.

  • For example: SuperPizza, We Can Help You...
Hello _______,

My name is Fab and I live in [my local area].
  • Don't write where you live. Instead, introduce yourself as the company.
  • Example: My name is Fab and I'm from [add company name].
I am looking to become an entrepreneur
I have a background in software development and mechanical engineering.
  • Remove this. Companies want professionals, not beginners.
I was wondering if you would be able to share any problems or frustrations [organization] has at all.
  • Remove this. Do your homework before writing to a company. Instead, present the company's problems.
Example: I see that you have a high bounce rate that's causing a decrease in revenue. My company helps create more traffic. We help optimize websites to keep bounce rates low. (Don't write this. This is just an example.) Of course, you want to keep the writing personalized. Avoid technical jargon.

I'm hoping to find a solution and sharing it with you so you can make a profit or become more efficient.
  • Avoid saying this. This statement tells the reader you have no clue what you're doing. Instead, talk about how your company can help provide solutions to their problem.
Example: Our focus is to help maintain traffic to your site. We help keep bounce rates low. We generate more traffic through referrals. Lastly, we create more long-term clients through our SEO techniques. We can help achieve this for you. You save time and money!
(Don't say this, I'm trying to illustrate a point.)

Maybe there is a better solution with ordering stock or dealing with customers. Please share anything and I will be happy to look into it.
  • The reader may interpret this the wrong way. In their perspective, your company looks lazy. You did no homework (research). Failed to address their pain points and frustrations. You failed to provide solutions to their problems.
2. Do your homework. Here's why:

Before writing to any company, research what kind of company are they.
  • Draw up a User Persona.
Example:
SuperPizza

  • Who: Pizza company with mobile app that guarantees fast delivery.
  • Goals: Their goal is to get subscribers to their app.
  • Frustrations: Customers use the app one time, and don't subscribe. Customers leave the app because of slow delivery time.
~~~~​
  • Solution: Our team at Legend Developers help generate new subscribers and avoid slow delivery times.
  • How: We offer special rewards to help get new long-term subscribers. We use special referral programs subscribers love. Lastly, our new technology helps speed up delivery time.
In summary, these are a few examples. These tips help you get an idea for your next e-mail campaign.

I would suggest reading more about cold-emails.
  • search the forum
  • search Google
  • search Amazon
 

Andy Black

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I'm just starting out and I have no idea what I should be doing yet. I know that I need to find a problem to solve so instead of sitting back I thought I'd send out some emails to local organisations. I asked taxis, pubs, manufacturing, garages, charities, schools, self storage and construction organisations.

Do you think it is a productive idea? Can you give me feedback on my email?

Cheers.
Fair play for taking action.


I dunno about this "idea extraction" via email though.

Personally I prefer to speak to people face-to-face, to "spend my money on diesel and coffee".

I get chatting to business owners all the time. My normal hello to anyone I meet is a cheery "Hey, how's it going?". If they want to say "Great. How're you?" then that's cool. If they tell me how things are going then we're having a conversation.

If they're a business owner then I ask "How's business going?" ... and then stfu.

No-one ever asks a business owner that, or genuinely gives a sh*t when they do ask.

Ask them how they're doing, and let them talk?


PS: Wondering what problem businesses would like to solve? How about some of these:
  • How to work less and make more.
  • How to make more sales without increasing overheads.
  • How to make more damn sales already.
Is there anything more sexy to a business owner than helping them make more sales?


PPS: You might find these threads helpful:

Good luck!
 

Walter Hay

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In the case of my first business I had learned in my employment about manufacturing problems in a big range of industries. This equipped me with the knowledge of pain points that I could relieve.

So, ask friends and relatives about issues they encounter at work. Alternatively, get a job and soak up all the information you can, with an eye to those problems that almost every business will have, but wouldn't talk to you about unless you went to them, knowing the problem exists, and offering a solution.

Likewise, before starting my importing business I was fortunate enough to have several family members working in various roles in one industry, but different organizations.

I asked them about problems, and pain points, and they had quite a few complaints, most of which were outside their control, but many of them seemed universal to that industry. I addressed those problems in my advertising, added a USP that no competitor had, and the business took off.

Walter
 

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If I have a problem I need someone smarter than me to solve it. That's not some random that emails me that doesn't know anything about anything I'd be interested in.

On a somewhat related note, I got a sales demand letter from a company that wanted to sell me their services today. See, the end of their fiscal year is in 10 days so she put forth a letter that stated that if I wanted to take action I needed to do so in the next 10 days to affect their year-end.

I told her to f*** off. Nobody has time for any of this type of stuff.

Dane Maxwell's Foundation can suck it. This email is a Massive Action fake. You add no value. The reason you got no response from 40 attempts is 40 people clicked delete as soon as they read it.

To add value to a company you have to create a reason for them to call you.

You have to have something they want.

I think you're fortunate that all you received is 40 non replies.
 

Almantas

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Don't get me wrong, but your approach sounds similar like asking a girl you've just met, "what would make you fall in love with me?" - I think she would feel damn weird - I guess that's exactly how company owners felt about your e-mail, too.
 

Real Deal Denver

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If I have a problem I need someone smarter than me to solve it. That's not some random that emails me that doesn't know anything about anything I'd be interested in.

On a somewhat related note, I got a sales demand letter from a company that wanted to sell me their services today. See, the end of their fiscal year is in 10 days so she put forth a letter that stated that if I wanted to take action I needed to do so in the next 10 days to affect their year-end.

I told her to f*** off. Nobody has time for any of this type of stuff.

Dane Maxwell's Foundation can suck it. This email is a Massive Action fake. You add no value. The reason you got no response from 40 attempts is 40 people clicked delete as soon as they read it.

To add value to a company you have to create a reason for them to call you.

You have to have something they want.

I think you're fortunate that all you received is 40 non replies.
I LIKE this reply. Hit the nail on the head. Especially the last sentence.

Throw this weak and insulting idea away now.

1) I'm amazed at how many people think an unsolicited email will do anything for them. Although I have spent money on things from unsolicited emails, that was only after visiting their website to shore up my expectations of what I wanted. That happens less than 3% of the time.

2) I know what I'm doing. Anyone insinuating that they can run my business better than me - especially on outsider - better have a vast amount of information and references to back them up. And after that, they better have referrals and accolades from past customers. Then I might - maybe - begin to listen.

3) So you got a degree. Congratulations. I employ many people with degrees. But I admire your spunk that you think, yes think, you can grab my attention with your sheepskin and talk to me as your peer. Um, really not so much. I'm not only insulted, but irritated, at this point.

4) I admire good work, and pay my people well, but they know their place. If any one of my people approached me in this style, they'd immediately jeopardize their hopes and dreams of any advancement. Of course, they might have a brilliant idea, so I would listen to them, if they took the proper steps of scheduling time to discuss it, and then having their information presentable in a highly professional manner. If they even "hinted" at wanting to look at my operations so they may "find" some area of deficiency, (fishing for ideas, as you are) they would be immediately informed of how valuable my time is, and in a way that they would not find enjoyable.

5) I detest spammers and people that waste me time. Here's a fun fact - I block no less than two callers a day on my phone. That's a lot of callers, over time. I guess their call out of the blue, or unwanted spamming, tactics don't work too good. But they keep trying because it's easy, and they've been told (wrongly) that it's a numbers game.

As Vigilante said: I think you're fortunate that all you received is 40 non replies.
 
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Fab89

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Hey @Fab89,

Here are some of my thoughts.

1. Your original email is lacking. Here's why:

Subject: How can I help your organization? (Vague Subject Line)

Note: You want to use a better headline. Make it personalized.

  • For example: SuperPizza, We Can Help You...
Hello _______,

My name is Fab and I live in [my local area].
  • Don't write where you live. Instead, introduce yourself as the company.
  • Example: My name is Fab and I'm from [add company name].
I am looking to become an entrepreneur
I have a background in software development and mechanical engineering.

  • Remove this. Companies want professionals, not beginners.
I was wondering if you would be able to share any problems or frustrations [organization] has at all.
  • Remove this. Do your homework before writing to a company. Instead, present the company's problems.
Example: I see that you have a high bounce rate that's causing a decrease in revenue. My company helps create more traffic. We help optimize websites to keep bounce rates low. (Don't write this. This is just an example.) Of course, you want to keep the writing personalized. Avoid technical jargon.

I'm hoping to find a solution and sharing it with you so you can make a profit or become more efficient.
  • Avoid saying this. This statement tells the reader you have no clue what you're doing. Instead, talk about how your company can help provide solutions to their problem.
Example: Our focus is to help maintain traffic to your site. We help keep bounce rates low. We generate more traffic through referrals. Lastly, we create more long-term clients through our SEO techniques. We can help achieve this for you. You save time and money!
(Don't say this, I'm trying to illustrate a point.)

Maybe there is a better solution with ordering stock or dealing with customers. Please share anything and I will be happy to look into it.
  • The reader may interpret this the wrong way. In their perspective, your company looks lazy. You did no homework (research). Failed to address their pain points and frustrations. You failed to provide solutions to their problems.
2. Do your homework. Here's why:

Before writing to any company, research what kind of company are they.
  • Draw up a User Persona.
Example:
SuperPizza

  • Who: Pizza company with mobile app that guarantees fast delivery.
  • Goals: Their goal is to get subscribers to their app.
  • Frustrations: Customers use the app one time, and don't subscribe. Customers leave the app because of slow delivery time.
~~~~​
  • Solution: Our team at Legend Developers help generate new subscribers and avoid slow delivery times.
  • How: We offer special rewards to help get new long-term subscribers. We use special referral programs subscribers love. Lastly, our new technology helps speed up delivery time.
In summary, these are a few examples. These tips help you get an idea for your next e-mail campaign.

I would suggest reading more about cold-emails.
  • search the forum
  • search Google
  • search Amazon
Amazing stuff. Cheers!
 

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RAZR

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I am relatively new on the forum, however, I have been involved or currently are involved in a few of the businesses that you listed. I am glad to see that you are trying. I agree with the others that the approach is not effective. Over the years, I have never responded to one of those emails or even cold calls. My time is more valuable than that. I have responded to one on one conversations. But you need to do your research and be well informed. Many times I did not realize that there might be a better way to do what I was doing. You don't know what you don't know. And that is where you come in. For you, that research might be getting a job in one of the areas. It might also be something that comes from relationships that you begin to build with individuals in the areas that you are truly interested in. I, like many other business owners, have learned to smell BS from a mile away. Be encouraged, it's a Journey. Failure and success often go hand in hand.
 

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Am not at the same position as you,but for my product validation I went on and asked specifically 92 prospects on LinkedIn since I found the majority there, my results went like this
58 responded and gave their opinion openly and honestly
31 didn't respond at all and some hasn't even seen the message
3 didn't even say hi back >< (I didn't send them the whole message at the beginning)

I think these are considered kinda good results and hope it can help you and others
so my message went like this

Hello "personName"
how you doing ? (I care for you as a human)
I need your opinion in something please (polite asking)
"personName", what do you think about "My product Idea" to "the main thing that my product will solve" ? I see a lot of you "something old and not effective enough they currently use" and thought there must be a better way to "prospect problem that need solving" ?
I need to hear your thoughts about it and if you are interested? what I can do to help you out regarding this issue ?and If you have any previous experience with "others old competitors" what are your main takeaways, we would love to hear your concerns so we can build a better comfortable environment for you and other "prospects professional title"
 

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I know for quite some time you have been seeking ideas to create a Fastlane venture, and its great you are making genuine efforts; however, it seems as if you are over thinking the process and in a way, it is preventing you from getting to the root of what you desire.

I often admit that Unscripted helped create a HUGE mindset shift for me as it helps me recognise issues from that productocracy perspective, in which you not only see something, but you gain the opportunity to see how, if necessary, it can be improved.

Do not forget that producing something doesn't mean you have to bring something totally new to the market, it can be something which already exists that you improve and you bring positive change to the market.

I don't see your issue as finding a problem to solve, but I see it more as finding the perfect problem to bring a perfect solution to the market, and in seeking that perfect solution you are losing sight of many existing opportunities awaiting your attention.
 

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All of those places have the same 2 problems.

1. Getting customers.

2. Hiring 'GOOD' workers to take care of the customers they fought to get.

So what you need to do is figure out a different way to bring customers to them. I have actually done this with my washer & dryer business. I am doing something that few others are doing and the people that are doing it are not doing it anywhere near the level I am doing it. What I do could be done with anything but I never see anyone doing it to the extreme that I do with any business. And before anyone sends me a message asking..... no, it would take $2 million in cash for me to give up my secret. Once I get too old to be in the washer & dryer business I will use this method for what ever I get in to next if it is still working.

As for hiring good workers, you will need a way to bring martians back to earth because workers here on earth ain't what they used to be.

If you can solve either of those problems, I'd say you can make your share of the pie.
 

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Your goal with this email seems to be to discover other people's problems that you can potentially solve with a business idea.

Many times in life the results we get are not what we expected.

Keep down this path and maybe you won't discover the problems you are expecting, but you might solve another problem.

It's a problem you have right now:

How do you initiate a conversation with someone you don't know and have it lead to something productive?

Solve this problem and you will have made a tremendous step towards being the type of person that can make sh*t happen. Being able to cold approach people and get them to talk to you is one of the most valuable skills anybody can have.

Cheers for giving it a go. Cheers again for posting it here. And one final cheers for learning from the experience.
 

AgainstAllOdds

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Try this. I wrote it in two minutes, but should be a better start than what you had:

Hi [Name],

I source materials from overseas and helps business owners cuts costs by up to 90%.

Is there something that you're getting ripped off on? If so, just reply to this email and I'll start looking at ways to cut your costs.

Best,
Your name
 

Bhanu

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I'm just starting out and I have no idea what I should be doing yet. I know that I need to find a problem to solve so instead of sitting back I thought I'd send out some emails to local organisations. I asked taxis, pubs, manufacturing, garages, charities, schools, self storage and construction organisations.

Do you think it is a productive idea? Can you give me feedback on my email?

Cheers.
Hi Brother ,
First of congratulations for trying something unique .Takes a lots of guts .

I am from India .Your email looks fine .Just few suggestions I wanted to give:
1. Please make your email more personalized. The email above looks like some office letter.It looks like you sent this same email to everyone just changing the name/date.
2. Start with appreciation of the shop/manufacturing unit/pub whom you want to send this mail to. Show them that you care for them .Show them that you know them .
3. Tell about your qualification in the last para. Currently it is the first para of your mail. Start the letter/email with something which interests the person to whom you are sending mail to.
4. Tell the shop/pub/manufacturing how you can help them .Don't look for money at all just have your focus on serving them .Money will follow I promise.
5. Read How to make friends and influence people .It gives tons of very good info on how to deal with people .I feel it is one of the finest book ever written on interpersonal relationships and can help in your business immensely .
Read chapter :
1.If you Don't do this,You are headed for Trouble
2. The Saftey Valve in handling Complaints
3. He Who can do this has the whole world with him.He who cannot walks a lonely way.(Read all the letters written in this chapter .This will give you how to make your email/letter more effective)
Thanks
Bhanu
 

Real Deal Denver

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Try this. I wrote it in two minutes, but should be a better start than what you had:

Hi [Name],

I source materials from overseas and helps business owners cuts costs by up to 90%.

Is there something that you're getting ripped off on? If so, just reply to this email and I'll start looking at ways to cut your costs.

Best,
Your name
THANK YOU for a common sense suggestion that is 110 times more powerful than the original message.

IF you prefaced this with just a SMALL amount of research first, in order to identify a target idea AND a contact, this would probably be a super effective approach.

However, sending it out cold, unsolicited - no matter how inviting it may be - still makes it what it is - spam. Why don't the movers and shakers just open their minds to improvement? Here's why. Those of us in business get bombarded with spam on an *hourly* basis, and have NO tolerance for this lazy way of doing things. No sir, not when I have worked hard to build my business, and still work hard every day. Meet me eye to eye, with respect, and then we can talk. No whiz bang, flash in the pan, try to wow me and get my attention, method. It screams college kid all over it. If even that much. It doesn't convey that you've done anything of substance or know anything beyond theory in a text book. Don't need any more of those types - sorry, have several already.

IF I did foresee a need such as this, my first step would be to google it. If you put forth no effort, except to treat me like a number on a long list of spam contacts, you will receive the results which I give almost everyone that spams me - nothing.

The very few that I pay attention to better have a very interesting topic line or they won't get looked at at all - and the line better be something better than "I can save you a million dollars a year, guaranteed!" No you can't. Don't waste my time. And, if at all possible, get a real job.
 
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